Stained glass has been the Cinderella of the medieval arts, largely because the material is so little known. Yet during the Middle Ages it was a highly prestigious vehicle for a wide variety of images, brightly coloured and brilliantly lit, as the famous surviving examples in York Minster, Canterbury Cathedral or King’s College Chapel in Cambridge still show today.
Following a major digitisation project many of the surviving examples of medieval stained glass in Great Britain are now available to view online. Over 15,000 digitised photographs from the archive of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) have been added to the AHDS Visual Arts image catalogue at: http://visualarts.ahds.ac.uk/
The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), or the survey of medieval stained glass, was founded in 1949 as an international research project which aims to publish everything that survives. The CVMA has committees in 14 countries and over 65 printed volumes have been published so far. In Great Britain, the CVMA is a British Academy research project hosted by the Courtauld Institute of Art. The photographic archive of the CVMA is housed at the public archive of English Heritage, the National Monuments Record, and a large proportion of the archive has now been digitised and made available online with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
With the addition of the CVMA collection, the number of digital images available via AHDS Visual Arts now totals around 80,000 images. The images of medieval stained glass can now be cross-searched with other related collections, such as the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association’s (PMSA) National Recording Project. These high quality digital images are all freely available for use in research, learning and teaching.
Search the CVMA collection and the entire AHDS Visual Arts image catalogue at:
For more information about the CVMA see:
Technorati tag: Digitization