"Accumulating an immense global mosaic of the life of as many inhabitants on this planet as possible—I have to admit that’s a pretty ambitious goal that we’ve set for ourselves and our collection.… Human beings are the focal point of the collection. What makes us human? What do people wish and hope for, what do they dream about? We are intrigued by the fact that, since 1839, there has been a medium capable of recording the history of humankind in meaningful and extremely concentrated images. Our store of photographs is useful to a wide variety of university disciplines, and it allows entirely different kinds of museums to collaborate." —Peter Herzog (Oral history, 07.07.2016, 24.11.2016)
The initial comprehensive inventory project to catalogue and systematically digitize the collection and make it publicly accessible has been made possible by the financial support of several donor foundations: the Christoph Merian Foundation, the Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Stadt, the Ernst Göhner Foundation, the Swisslos-Fonds Basel-Landschaft, the Sophie and Karl Binding Stiftung, the UBS Culture Foundation, an anonymous donation, and by contributions from the architectural office of Herzog & de Meuron Basel.