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10,000 photos of Paris: A trip in time!

The City of Paris put online an internet tool currently listing more than 10,000 photographs of the capital.

In June 2022, the Commission du Vieux Paris (CVP) put some 10,000 photographs of the capital online, from 1916 to the 1970s. It is a Paris that no longer exists, that we imagine today thanks to the novels, films and old photographs that we see on the shelves of the booksellers of the Seine. 

This gigantic undertaking is the result of one of the main missions of the CVP since its creation in 1897: to document the Parisian addresses whose conservation was desirable, from 1916, the photographer Charles Lansiaux was employed by the city’s “Artistic and archaeological locker”. To his work is added that of Édouard Desprez, his successor. Pre-demolition surveys from the 1960s and 1970s are also added to this extraordinary photographic collection. The urban evolution of Paris thus accompanies that of photography, passing from the support of the glass plate to the flexible negative. We then discover the buildings that stood in place of the Center George Pompidou, the Baltard pavilions of Les Halles or the Tournelle bridge, demolished from 1918.

A real tool for researchers and an invitation to travel through time for the public, these images of old Paris, accessible free of charge, have been mapped and listed with the help of the Department of History of Architecture and Archeology of the city of Paris as well as with the assistance of the CNRS. Accessible to anyone who knows how to be patient – ​​the loading of photographs can be long – this treasure of archives will be enriched over time, depending on the progress of the digitization campaigns.


Link to the website of the Photographs of the Commission du Vieux Paris



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