Resources

Medieval Art Resources

Check out MEMSlib’s Resource page for a comprehensive list of Medieval Art and Architecture related resources, websites and more (created by one of Medieval Art Research’s editors).

Recorded Webinar: Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages

Recorded Webinar: Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages

On 20 July 2020, The Medieval Academy of America hosted the webinar Race, Racism, and Teaching in the Middle Ages. In the wake of recent events and ongoing racially motivated violence, there have been many institutional responses to raise awareness of race and racism in the U.S. and beyond. This webinar focused on pedagogy andContinue reading “Recorded Webinar: Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages”

Webinar: Medieval Freelancing 101, Resources for Independent Scholars

Webinar: Medieval Freelancing 101, Resources for Independent Scholars

The Medieval Academy of America announces a new webinar series that provides advice for independent scholars and those considering or in the process of pivoting to career paths beyond traditional academe. The series is sponsored jointly by the MAA Committee for Professional Development and CARA (Committee on Center and Regional Associations). Medievalists employed beyond theContinue reading “Webinar: Medieval Freelancing 101, Resources for Independent Scholars”

New Podcast: Modern Medieval

Hosted by Meaghan Allen and Eleanora Narbone, the podcast explores various connections between the modern world and the medieval, from pop culture references to marginalia details, Modern Medieval strives to bridge the gap of knowledge in a fun, engaging and accessible way.

Blogging the Medieval: How to write for the web and social media

Dr Alison Ray, Assistant Archivist at Canterbury Cathedral Archives and former Digitisation and Web Curatorial Officer at the British Library, brings together helpful advice on writing blogs, using more accessible language, describing medieval objects, finding images to include in posts, and tips for using Twitter and Instagram.

New Resource: Introducing Medieval Christianity

This site is a pilot version of a resource designed to introduce students to some key concepts in medieval Christianity. The goal is to provide short articles and other resources which will help undergraduates in their study of medieval culture and literature.

Resource: Writing about Art with Art Critic Tabish Khan, Association for Art History

How do you write about art? On Wednesday 24 June we launched a new series of short online talks about writing about art. We started the series finding out how to write about art and exhibitions with art critic, Tabish Khan. Tabish has been visual arts editor at Londonist since 2013 and writes extensively aboutContinue reading “Resource: Writing about Art with Art Critic Tabish Khan, Association for Art History”

New Resource: Census of Italian Renaissance Woodcuts

Please note the existence of a new resource, which has just gone live: The online Census of Italian Renaissance Woodcuts. The Census team have traced, studied and catalogued all single-leaf woodcuts and woodblocks made in Italy from the earliest known use of this medium to about 1550.

New Resource: Islamic Manuscript Basics

This site holds basic information and resources relating to the study of Islamic manuscripts. If you are new to thinking about the material aspects of Islamic manuscripts or are simply curious and want to know more, then this site is for you!

Virtual Church Crawls

Missing your regular fix of church crawls? We’ve assembled a list of 3D virtual tours and models of UK cathedrals for you to enjoy. Their quality varies hugely, but they’re a handy substitute for the real thing, even as places start to open up. Maybe those cathedral Twitter accounts can get competitive again, as theyContinue reading “Virtual Church Crawls”

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Radio

Podcast Series: British Art Talks, Paul Mellon Centre

The Paul Mellon Centre has now released seven episodes of a new podcast series, British Art Talks, which are permanently available across our website, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Each episode features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture. Please see the full list of episodes below. Medieval related podcasts include: “What Will SurviveContinue reading “Podcast Series: British Art Talks, Paul Mellon Centre”

Radio: BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Chivalry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03tt7kn Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss chivalry, the moral code observed by knights of the Middle Ages. Chivalry originated in the military practices of aristocratic French and German soldiers, but developed into an elaborate system governing many different aspects of knightly behaviour. It influenced the conduct of medieval military campaigns and also had importantContinue reading “Radio: BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Chivalry”

The Essay, Islamic Architecture: The Islamic Golden Age

Radio: BBC Radio 3 – The Essay, Islamic Architecture: The Islamic Golden Age

This major essay series continues as leading thinkers and practitioners share their knowledge and passion for the Golden Age of Islam. Dr. Sussan Babaie from the Courtauld Institute is an expert in Islamic architecture. She turns the spotlight on two significant monuments of the early medieval period in the Islamic world: the 10th century royalContinue reading “Radio: BBC Radio 3 – The Essay, Islamic Architecture: The Islamic Golden Age”

Podcasts

Podcast Series: British Art Talks, Paul Mellon Centre

The Paul Mellon Centre has now released seven episodes of a new podcast series, British Art Talks, which are permanently available across our website, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Each episode features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture. Please see the full list of episodes below. Medieval related podcasts include: “What Will SurviveContinue reading “Podcast Series: British Art Talks, Paul Mellon Centre”

TV Programmes

TV Programme: Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve, BBC 2

For centuries pilgrimage was one of the greatest adventures on earth, involving epic journeys across the country and around the world. This series sees Simon Reeve retrace the exciting adventures of our ancestors. He learns about the forgotten aspects of pilgrimage, including the vice, thrills and dangers that all awaited travellers. He explores the faith,Continue reading “TV Programme: Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve, BBC 2”

TV Programme: Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities, BBC Four

Series in which historian Simon Sebag Montefiore traces the sacred history of Istanbul. Known as the ‘city of the world’s desire’, it’s a place that has been the focus of passion for believers of three different faiths – Paganism, Christianity and Islam – and for nearly 3,000 years its streets have been the battleground forContinue reading “TV Programme: Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities, BBC Four”

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Need more help?

If you’re looking for particular sources, or perhaps you need help getting a chapter from a book or an article, then fear not. Head over to a brand new facebook group that was created by one of our editors to help bring the world-wide community of Medieval Art Historians together, to help one another during this challenging time.

Institutions

  • The Bibliotheca Hertziana owes its existence to the generosity of Henriette Hertz (1846–1913), who provided the Palazzo Zuccari – complete with a well-stocked specialist library and an extensive photographic collection – as the seat of the research institute. The institute’s excellent library and comprehensive photographic collection, not to mention its proximity to objects, monuments, archives and museums, conservation authorities, universities and international institutions in Rome make the Hertziana one of the world’s most renowned research institutes for Italian and, more specifically, Roman history of art.
  • The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from many countries, in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library’s collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC. The British Library is one of the two largest libraries in the world, the other being the Library of Congress of the United States.
  • The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale is a research institution based at the University of Poitier, dealing with all aspects of medieval civilisation. Apart from its focus on research, the center also focuses on teaching, publishing and documenting with and for the research community.
  • The Courtauld Institute of Art is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of the history and conservation of art and architecture, and its Gallery houses one of Britain’s best-loved collections.  Based at Somerset House, The Courtauld is an independent college of the University of London.
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications.
  • The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts and their various histories through its expertise, active collecting program, public programs, institutional collaborations, exhibitions, publications, digital services, and residential scholars programs. Its Research Library and Special Collections of rare materials and digital resources serve an international community of scholars and the interested public. The Institute’s activities and scholarly resources guide and sustain each other and together provide a unique environment for research, critical inquiry, and scholarly exchange.
  • Illuminare — Centre for the Study of Medieval Art is located in the Central Library of the University of Leuven. It is a university research and documentation centre, accessible for academics and students. The research of Illuminare is founded upon reception history and the contextual meaning of Early Netherlandish Art; technical research, conservation and cataloging of illuminated manuscripts and the iconology of the Middle Ages from an interdisciplinary perspective (Iconology Research Group). Research is made possible under the auspices of research and doctoral projects. Illuminare is the publisher of three of its own series, the Corpus of Illuminated ManuscriptsArt and Religion (IRG) and Iconologies (IRG).
  • The French Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art  is a public corporation set up in 2001, in order to carry out scientific activity and to contribute to international scientific cooperation in the history of art, archaeology and cultural heritage. It conducts research, provides training, and spreads knowledge.
  • The International Center of Medieval Art is formed are to promote and encourage the study, understanding, and appreciation of the visual arts of the Middle Ages produced in Europe, the Mediterranean region, and the Slavic world, during the period between ca. 300 and ca. 1500 C.E.; and to this end to sponsor and otherwise support study, teaching, conferences, exhibitions, displays, and publications devoted to medieval art and culture.
  • The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz is one of the oldest research institutions dedicated to the History of Art and Architecture in Italy, where facets of European, Mediterranean and global history are subject to close scrutiny. Founded in 1897 on the private initiative of a group of independent scholars, it has been under the auspices of the Max Planck Society since 2002. In addition to numerous individual research projects, those funded by third parties and a multiplicity of international collaboration with universities, museums and research institutes, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz provides a platform for larger long- and medium-term projects whose subject matter ranges from Late Antiquity to the Modern Age. The Institute’s resources, including the library with over 290,000 volumes, some of which are extremely rare, over 1,070 ongoing journal subscriptions, and one of the most wide-ranging photographic libraries on Italian art, are placed at the disposal of researchers from all over the world.
  • The National Art Library is a major public reference library for the fine and decorative arts, and is the V&A’s curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book.
  • The Warburg Institute is concerned mainly with cultural history, art history and history of ideas, especially in the Renaissance. It aims to promote and conduct research on the interaction of cultures, using verbal and visual materials. It specialises in the influence of ancient Mediterranean traditions on European culture from the Middle Ages to the modern period. Its open–access library has outstanding strengths in Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance art, Arabic, Medieval and Renaissance philosophy, the history of religion, science and magic, Italian history, the history of the classical tradition, and humanism.
  • The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich is the only extra-universitary art historical research institute in Germany. It houses one of the largest specialised libraries in art history and an important photography collection.

Societies

  • The British Archaeological Association was founded in 1843 to promote the study of archaeology, art and architecture and the preservation of our national antiquities. It encourages original research and publishes new work on the history of architecture, art and antiquities of Roman to post-medieval date.
    The Association embraces a wide spectrum of antiquarian and art historical interests, with architectural history, particularly of the medieval period, strongly represented. Archaeology is defined very broadly: in addition to traditional archaeological excavation, it is taken to encompass the study of standing buildings and a wide range of furnishings and artefacts. This breadth of interest continues the tradition of the founders of the Association who viewed buildings, written records and artefacts as equally valid evidence of the historical past and as falling within the remit of archaeology.
    A major strength of the Association is the encouragement of debate across different disciplines: at the monthly lectures held in London from October to May, at the annual four-day medieval conference (whose proceedings are published for the benefit of members at large); at occasional study days and through papers published in the annual journal.
    The Association has a long tradition of amateur involvement and offers opportunities for interested amateurs to meet and talk to professionals in an informal and friendly atmosphere.
  • Limousin Médiéval – sharing and promoting the history of Limogés [French only]
  • The Monumental Brass Society was founded in 1887 by a group of Cambridge undergraduates keen to preserve and record monumental brasses. Initially it was known as the Cambridge University Association of Brass Collectors. Later it was renamed the Monumental Brass Society. From a membership of 60 in 1887, the Society has grown to around 500 today. Early research into brasses focussed chiefly on English brasses of the medieval and early modern periods. Today, however, the field is much wider. Chronologically it extends to brasses of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and geographically to those of Continental Europe and beyond. Incised slabs are also the subject of growing interest. Areas of current research include the artistic context of brasses, workshop organisation and the self-image of the commemorated.
  • The Société Française d’Archéologie (Bulletin Monumental) is an organisation that represents both professionals working in the fields of archeology, art history, architects and conservation and ‘amateurs’ interested in these fields. The society also publishes the Bulletin Monumental, a trimestrial journal dealing with heritage and architecture from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
  • The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies was established in 1983, with the object of furthering study and knowledge of the history and culture, language and literature of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbours. Its scope is wide, covering history, archaeology, art history, philology, theology and literary studies, and embraces all the language areas formerly within the Byzantine Empire – Syriac, Armenian, Arabic and Slavic, as well as Greek and Latin.
  • The Vernacular Architecture Group was formed in 1952 to further the study of traditional buildings, originally those of the British Isles. In recent years, its membership and publications have also reflected a growing interest in buildings from other parts of the world. Members are involved in all aspects of the recording and study of vernacular buildings including detailed local or regional surveys, studies of particular types of buildings including houses, farms, industrial and urban buildings, building materials, techniques of building, including carpentry and masonry, and documentary evidence.
  • Mediävistenverband (Medievalists’ Society) was founded in 1983 with the aim of providing a forum for all disciplines concerned with the Middle Ages, and through its focus on co-operative interdisciplinary work, of achieving a better understanding of this period and its culture. Today the Mediävistenverband is the largest society of medievalists in Germany with over 1,000 members from different countries representing a spectrum of subjects that ranges from archaeology to theology.
  • The Red de Estudios Medievales Interdisciplinares is the result of a collaboration between scholars researching Medieval Art at various Galician and Portuguese universities. It welcomes scholars in Spain and abroad, and runs various research activities, for example: cultural and formative site visits, training courses, events leading to multidisciplinary publications, website articles, European research projects.

Image databases

  • British Museum Collections Online: The Museum’s entire digitised database to date can be found here. New records and images are being added every week. When complete the database will contain a record of every object in the Museum collection, with associated conservation and scientific reports where available.
  • Belgian Art Links and Tools – Belgium’s art history in a single click, nearly 650 000 free downloadable photos, from the Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium.
  • The Corpus of Medieval Narrative Art: Stuart Whatling’s high-resolution photographs of medieval narrative art, concentrating on French 13th century stained glass.
  • Online Catalogue of J. Paul Getty Museum: Thousands of images of artworks are available for download, without charge, under the Getty’s Open Content Program.
  • The Gothic Ivories Project was launched in October 2008 at the Courtauld Institute of Art. It consists of an online database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530, as well as neo-Gothic pieces.
  • LACMA: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s collections online.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections: Find information about electronically catalogued artworks in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
  • V&A Museum Collections Online is a working database providing online access to over 1.1 million catalogue records and over 293,000 images of objects in the V&A’s collection. New text and images are added each month.
  • International Centre for Medieval Art Image Database: An image database that pools member images and allows others to use them free of charge and without restriction.
  • Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance: MESA is a federated international community of scholars, projects, institutions, and organisations engaged in digital scholarship within the field of medieval studies. MESA seeks to provide a community for those engaged in digital medieval studies and to meet emerging needs of this community, including making recommendations on technological and scholarly standards for electronic scholarship, the aggregation of data, and the ability to discover and repurpose this data.
  • The Medieval Stained Glass Photographic Archive: Over 25,000 photographs of medieval and ancient stained glass panels at over 500 locations.
  • The Online Collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington: NGA Images is a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art. On this website you can search, browse, share, and download images. More than 32,000 open access digital images up to 3000 pixels each are available free of charge for download and use.
  • Prometheus is a distributed digital image archive that currently connects 75 databases from institutes, research facilities and museums on a common user interface.
  • The Rijksmuseum Online Collections: Discover the possibilities of 150.000 masterpieces online.
  • Yale Digital Commons: 250,000 digital assets from across Yale’s collections.
  • A very useful compilation of image databases can be found on the website of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Brown University compilation of Resources for Art and Architecture Images.

Manuscript databases

Architecture databases

Other Resources

  • Historical soundscapes of Andalusia (c.1200 – c.1800) – This is a website designed to explore historical urban soundscapes in Andalusian cities, aided by the outreach potential made possible through new technologies. This innovative approach will allow users to recreate music of the past in historical locations through the use of online interactive maps with digital resources (documents, videos, sounds, etc.). The contents aim to be inclusive and help achieve a better understanding of urban culture, establishing an aesthetic and intellectual dialogue with their sensorial aural history through an interdisciplinary approach that brings together urban musicology with areas including cultural history and art history, among others. Our main aim has been to create a digital platform to map the soundscapes of the cities of Granada and Seville as a paradigm that should prove adaptable to any urban centre over different historical periods. This platform is intended to be a useful and innovative tool for the educational institutions (from primary to tertiary education), museums, tourist boards, etc. of different cities.
  • Spotting Historyan independent site to provide reliable travelling tips to historic sites and sights all around the world. The site is made by individuals interested in history and historic places all around the world. The purpose is to provide an easy-use, map-based service to help people find interesting places to visit on their journeys.
  • Monastic Matrix: a scholarly resource for the study of women’s religious communities
  • Ards: The Platform for Medieval sculpture: a network platform aiming to generate and promote knowledge about Western European medieval and Renaissance sculpture. Its goal is to increase the interest from both specialists and the broader public in this segment of Art History.

Blogs