This collection comprises photographs that were once part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's “Photograph and Extension Division,” a section of the Museum that once housed objects and visual reproductions which were borrowed by public and private schools, colleges, museums, libraries, clubs, churches, and individuals throughout the United States for research and educational purposes. The lending collection was very active in the early to mid-twentieth century, and originally held tens of thousands of images. Eventually this program was discontinued and images were transferred to appropriate curatorial departments within the museum. The Department of Islamic Art at the Met received the present collection, featuring images of architecture shot by a variety of photographers in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The physical image collection is today still housed in the library of the Department of Islamic Art at the Met.