The Corpus Photographicum of Drawings is one of the largest art-historical project-based collections of material and knowledge of the 20th century. Founded in 1937, the Corpus includes approximately 193,000 photographs of drawings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, preserved in collections worldwide.

A complete set of all photographs was donated to the Bibliotheca Hertziana by the initiators Walter Gernsheim and Jutta Lauke-Gernsheim in 2002. This donation was completed in 2013 by the transfer of all negatives of the Corpus to the Photographic Collection, including the photographers' rights. In 2017, the Photographic Collection received a complete set of digitized copies of the photographic positives from the ArtStor Digital Library. With the scientific indexing of the Corpus, largely unpublished material finds its way into the Photographic Collection and Research departments. So far, more than 52,000 photographs from the Corpus, with drawings mainly by Italian artists or made in Italian contexts, have been catalogued in the database.