The collection is seen as an historically unique document of the architectural and urban development of East Berlin. A large number of the photographs were taken by Fritz Tiedemann (1915-2001) and Gisela Dutschmann (born 1933).
From 2003 to 2005, with assistance from the Getty Foundation Los Angeles, it was possible to scientifically index, inventorise and register the East Berlin photo archive on a database. The publication "Ost-Berlin und seine Bauten. Fotografien 1945-1990" documents a selection of the research findings. On the basis of this archive, in 2008 the museum produced the exhibition and publication “So weit kein Auge reicht. Berliner Panoramafotografien aus den Jahren 1949-1952”, which was one of the most popular and successful exhibitions ever shown by the Berlinische Galerie. The aim of digitalisation was to link the existent sets of data with scans of the index cards and photographs, and to make this unique archive accessible online.
The digitisation project was made possible by