Rudolf Zinggeler archive

Vals, Wallfahrtskapelle Mariä Schmerzen
Festively attired women and children in front of St Mary’s chapel, a pilgrimage destination in Vals (1911).

The silk manufacturer Rudolf Zinggeler (1864–1954) from Richterswil (canton of Zurich) took photos mainly in the cantons of Valais, Ticino and Graubünden between 1890 and 1936.

Content and scope

  • Photos of towns and villages, buildings, landscapes and day-to-day rural life (work, leisure, festivals)
  • 15,280 glass and plastic negatives, black and white, in the formats 9 x 12 cm, 13 x 18 cm and 18 x 24 cm
  • 16,340 prints from glass plates (1956–1965)
  • The prints are mounted on card, annotated and organised alphabetically by location.

Collection principles

Brione by Zinggeler
Village scenery in Brione sopra Minusio around 1892
  • Rudolf Zinggeler’s heirs gifted his photographic estate to the Swiss National Museum in Zurich in 1956.
  • Once the collection had been catalogued and prints produced, most of it was transferred to the Federal Archives of Historic Monuments (FAHM) in 1969.
  • The photos of towns, villages, landscapes and day-to-day rural life have great value as historical documents and part of the national heritage. They fit perfectly into the core remit of the FAHM.

Research and access

  • You can access the entire Rudolf Zinggeler collection in the HelveticArchives database.
  • The originals can be viewed by prior appointment in the Prints and Drawings Department.

Last modification 28.09.2023

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