Fratelli Alinari is the world's oldest photographic firm founded in Florence, Italy in 1852. Its archive contains 5.5 million photographs, ranging from daguerreotypes to modern digital photos from around the world. In 1852, Leopoldo Alinari, with his brothers Giuseppe and Romualdo, founded the photographic workshop specializing in photographic portraiture, photos of art and historical monuments. In the year 2007 Fratelli Alinari SPA merged with the Sole 24 Ore and created a new company called Alinari 24 Ore. It is the oldest foundation in the world still active in the field of photography, and more generally in the sphere of the image and communication. Today, Alinari is the guardian of a photographic corpus which has few equals (with a patrimony of its own of over 5,500,000 pictures, historical and contemporary, ranging from vintage prints, glass plate negatives to film and fotocolors), and is responsible for the management of an ongoing program of exhibitions and publishing. It can supply iconographical research services and manages both Italian and foreign photographic archives, constantly increasing its image-bank, in part already on microfiches and now also on digital supports which is available for consultation on-line. Fratelli Alinari is a leader firm on a national and international level in the field of photography, images and therefore of communication. Alinari provides photographic publishing and its Art Printworks still uses the artisan technique of collotype on paper and silver plates from photographic images. In order to make the images available to a greater number of persons, Alinari has established an on-line search system of its photographic archives, employing a system of iconographic classification produced in collaboration with the University of Florence with over Alinari on-line 330,000 images. In 1994 the firm began numerous initiatives for collaboration in technological and cultural projects in Europe. Among the most important are Aquarelle, Artline, Victor, Imprimatur, aceMedia, Euridice, 2Kan, Orpheus, Ermione, RegNet, TNT, Migrator 2000, eCHASE, aceMedia, Multimatch and today: MILE, Tripod, Eurogene, Fotomemoria,CITER and today GLOCAL, VisitoTuscany and Convergence. The Archive is today very active in Italy and Europe in several research and education research and marketing validation projects, providing valuable contribution mainly in the following domains: watermarking, digital rights management, content provider, 3D applications, image enhancement, intelligent content retrieval, web semantic and ontologies, distance learning, preservation and image restoration, validation, testing, exploitation, multimedia content supply.