Roger-Viollet Celebrates 70 Years

Posted on 1/30/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The Paris-based agency founded by Hélène Roger-Viollet is turning 70. What started as 30,000 negatives housed in a small Parisian store has grown to an 8-million-image collection that documents over a century of European history. The agency plans a number of commemorative events throughout the year.

The original collection was bequeathed to the city of Paris in 1985. As of 2005, it has been operated as part of the larger Parisienne de Photographie group, a city-managed heritage preservation and development company.

Though governmentally owned, Roger-Viollet operates much like its privately held competitors. It manages its own contemporary stock production, licensing creative imagery alongside heritage stock to clients in the publishing, TV and advertising industries. It has also completed a number of acquisitions, integrating war imagery by Maurice-Louis Branger, Russian immigrant lifestyle images by Pierre Choumoff and early 20th-century fashion and advertising imagery by Laure Albin-Guillot.

The agency also represents well-known foreign brands, such as TopFoto and Bilderwelt, in France, while distributing its own collection in over 20 territories. In addition to global partnerships with AFP Image Forum and Getty Images, Roger-Viollet distributes through Amana Images in Japan, Rex Features and Bridgeman in the U.K. and Ullstein Bild in Germany.

To commemorate its 70th year, Roger-Viollet started 2008 with a redesigned corporate identity and will unveil a new Web site in the fall. Also in the works - an exhibit covering 70 years of Parisian life, to be held on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.

The agency plans to continue digitizing its collection to increase the number of images available online from the current 300,000 to half a million. It will focus its sales energies on new market segments, particularly Internet-based uses. Though it plans ongoing growth, both by producing its own imagery and pursuing additional partnerships, managing director Violaine Sand says its core values of customer service and personal contact will remain.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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