The photography department currently has close to 150,000 works from the invention of photography until today. This collection has been part of the museum since its creation and has continued to develop over time. With the creation of a specific photography department in 1980, the collection enjoyed renewed prominence. It features a wide range of a variety of photographic mediums (daguerreotype, calotype, albumin paper, black and white prints, colour prints, alternative processes…). Not only does it house work by some of the biggest names in photography (Le Secq, Baldus, Nadar, Marville, Collard, Ilse Bing, Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Cartier-Bresson, and Brassaï), the museum also has an important collection on the Liberation of Paris and previously unseen aerial views of the capital.
Currently, the department is working on a retrospective inventory and digitisation of the collection, which will allow the general public to enjoy the extraordinary wealth of this collection.