Museums, archives, universities, private enterprises and public administrations from all over Europe joined forces in the EuropeanaPhotography project to digitize the best of their photographic collections (1839-1939); now they are proud to present an edited selection of the finest, rarely seen images, documenting the past as captured by the pioneers of photography.

All Our Yesterdays is a great opportunity to discover how people lived in a Europe very different from the one we know today, undergoing great and rapid changes.  In this period, a life of horses and agriculture briefly co-existed with a new, modern reality of machines and industry. Among this era’s many innovations: photography, a new medium able to capture everyday life at the pace of its evolutions. The skills of these early photographers were not fully appreciated at the time, but they recorded life in a precise and hidden detail that we can only really appreciate now that we have lost the life we used to live.

"All our Yesterdays" started as an exhibition in Pisa in Spring 2014; now travels throughout Europe and encompasses a virtual exhibition.


The exhibition in Leuven will include collections of the Leuven City Archive!


Captions of the images

With the camera as a time machine, framing the present, documenting the past and showing a glimpse of the future, men (and women!) have, throughout the history of photography, captured their world from its most beautiful angles as well as in its most dramatic days.

Europe before World War II seems quite unlike the world we know today, but maybe it wasn’t that different after all: people’s everyday life, joys and sorrows, stories and dreams turn out to have been strikingly similar to ours.

To re-build these stories through a kaleidoscope of early photographic masterpieces, All Our yesterdays presents the most exquisite, often unseen, images of a world in change, showcasing the mastery and art of the very first photographers. They are displayed using multimedia, state-of-the-art digitization and printing techniques, and offering a virtual extension to the on-site experience.

Exhibition website:
More information:

Fostered by the Europeana Photography Project and organized by:

CS Digital KU Leuven, Promoter srl, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Stad Leuven, Fotomuseum Antwerpen

Official Media Partner: Digital Meets Culture.

Belgium, 1 February - 15 March 2015

Campusbibliotheek Arenberg, Heverlee

Bibiliotheek Tweebronnen, Leuven

The virtual exhibition is also available as an app for iPad and iPhone .


All Our Yesterdays is an interactive and virtual exhibition that allows to access the images through a digital walk, moving across the different rooms.

It is possible to move everywhere in the rooms, zoom the photographs, and learn more thanks to the descriptive panels.  Check out the video presentation for further informations.



All Our Yesterdays is presented and realized by EuropeanaPhotography, EU project co-funded by European Commission, with the aim to select and digitize over 430.000 images of the first 100 year of photography (1839-1939), with historical, cultural and artistic value.

The digitized images are accessible by everybody in Europeana, the European Digital Library.

EuropeanaPhotography is a public-private consortium composed by partners from all over Europe, coordinated by KU Leuven and Promoter SRL as technical coordinator.