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The archive is an overview of the history of the annual World Press Photo contest, and is constructed in direct relation to the contest. The primary arrangement is year by year, going back to 1955. Within each year, you may choose the option of an overview of prize-winning photos, or one showing the exact categories in which awards were made that year. In addition to the year-by-year arrangement, there is an alphabetical list of prize-winning photographers that covers the entire period the contest has been in existence.

Search Criteria

In addition to the year-by-year and photographers lists, various specific search options are available, again related to contest classifications. You may search the archive by photographer, photographer’s nationality, the agency or publication involved, for photos that have won specific prizes, or according to one of the themed categories that act as umbrella headings for various related categories into which different contests have been divided over the years.

Themed Categories

Contest categories have changed over the years. Back in 1955, there were just four groupings: News, Sport, Features and Picture Stories. These days, the contest itself is arranged into ten categories. Along the way, such classifications as Happy News and Personality have arisen and disappeared. At one time the phenomenon of Color Picture Stories was so novel as to warrant its own section.
To simplify matters, photos in the archive are classified into eleven themed categories. To some extent each acts as an umbrella, covering past categories related to it. So a photo that appeared in 1982 as a winner in the Living category may be accessed through Daily Life; a picture that once picked up a Nature and the Environment prize will here be linked to Nature.

In addition to these categories, photos that have won specific named prizes (past and present) are also grouped, as well as those that have received a Special Mention.

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