The Index of Christian Art becomes the Index of Medieval Art

Princeton University recently announced that their venerable Index of Christian Art officially changed its name to the Index of Medieval Art as of July 1, 2017. The name was changed to more accurately reflect the current content. The Index covers multiple medieval faith traditions, including Jewish and Islamic art and both religious and secular imagery, from early apostolic times until the 16th century.

The Index of Medieval Art was founded by Princeton Professor Charles Rufus Morey in 1917 and is the largest archive of medieval art in the world. At present, it offers access to approximately 200,000 images and related information in a physical index; about half of these currently also exist in an online subscription database.

The Getty Research Institute Library provides online access to the Index’s database, which is available on-site. In addition, the Research Library is one of only four institutions in the world to hold a repository copy of the physical Index, which includes Subject and Photographic files.

Coat of Arms Held by a Woman and a Greyhound, Jean Fouquet, 1455. Hours of Simon de Varie. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.ML.27.2v

The physical Index is conveniently located adjacent to the medieval section of the Photo Archive on the L3 level of the Research Library. The Photo Archive houses approximately 176,000 photographs representing medieval architecture, sculpture, panel painting, illuminated manuscripts, and minor arts. Cross-references can be made between the Photo Archive and the Index. For example, cataloguing data from both archives can be used to identify and locate images and information in both collections. A copy of the Index of Jewish Art is also shelved nearby.

First-time users of the Index or the Photo Archive are strongly encouraged to contact us to arrange an orientation.

-Tracey Schuster, Head of Permissions and Photo Archive Services

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