The Index of Medieval Art houses, contextualizes, and presents images and information relating to the iconographic traditions of the medieval world. Founded in 1917 and maintained by a specialized staff of art historians, it serves iconographic researchers through both its physical archive on the Princeton University campus and an expanding online database. Its ongoing program of conferences and publications provides a center for continuing scholarly and public discourse about the visual culture of the Middle Ages.
For nearly a century, the Index of Medieval Art has provided researchers at Princeton and beyond with both visual images and scholarly expertise. Our physical index and online database make available approximately 200,000 images and data from the “Long Middle Ages,” from early apostolic times until the sixteenth century. Originally called the Index of Christian Art, reflecting its beginnings as a focused resource for the study of early Christian art, the Index now sets its parameters more broadly, including works from multiple medieval faith traditions as well as secular imagery. The medievalist scholars who maintain and develop these files also offer individual consultations and training for visiting researchers and area faculty and students. A 6,000-volume research library is available for consultation on site.
The Index also serves as a scholarly hub, hosting university classes, research workshops, and international conferences concerned with the meaning and reception of medieval visual culture. It maintains an active publications program, collaborating with several university presses to produce conference publications and the annual journal Studies in Iconography.
The Index of Christian Art has digitized slides of several personal research collections that are of significant medieval interest. Among the collections are historical photographs that document key European and Eastern monuments and notable works of art from Classical, Byzantine, and Gothic stylistic periods. These digitized collections include The Svetlana Tomekovic Database of Byzantine Art and The Gabriel Millet Collection, a collaborative venture between the Index and the École Pratique des Hautes Études.
Full access to the Index of Christian Art database is available to users by subscription and to those on the Princeton campus.Learn More & Explore