The Rome Department of the German Archeological Institute developed out of the Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica founded in 1829. The oldest European research institution, the Rome Department became a public institution supported by the Prussian state in 1871. Today the library's holdings are of international significance, a result of the Institute's long history and the many generous private donations it has received. Its holdings include one of the largest specialized photo collections in Italy, an extensive reference collection for academic research, including the well-established archive and the archeological bibliography (Realkatalog) that allows for the search of relevant publications. In particular, the collection focuses on Italian and North African Archeology from the pre-historical to the medieval periods.