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In a collaborative venture the Index of Christian Art in Princeton University and The École Pratique des Hautes Études in the Sorbonne have digitized and catalogued one part of the photographic holdings of The Collection Gabriel Millet and are now making it available on the Internet for the first time.
The collection of some 100,000 images is an unrivalled source for the study of the Christian and Byzantine arts of the Balkans and the Near east and was founded in 1903 by Gabriel Millet. The history of the archive goes back to 1881 when collecting first began. The Index of Christian Art has a slightly later history being founded by Charles Rufus Morey in 1917 and is the premier center for the study of medieval iconography. The range of the material amassed by Millet and his successors is truly impressive and covers works of art from ninth century Western Europe to fifteenth century Greece. Where most of the material is Byzantine in style, the archive has also gathered images from the Early Christian, Carolingian and later periods and these are also included in this database. The archive consists of slides, prints and glass plate images. This is the first installment to be digitized and consists of some 10,000 slides, the majority of which are of manuscript illuminations. The database also includes material as diverse as the bronze doors from the cathedral of S. Andrea in Amalfi to mosaics from Antioch. A number of the images are in black and white but the majority are in color.
Many of these works of art are already available in the Index of Christian Art where they are fully catalogued. In advance of the others being added to the index proper we have decided to make them available to general scholarship outside of the Index in software specially designed by Jon Niola (Database Manager of The Index). This is not a searchable resource but enables the researcher to browse through collections using criteria such as country, site or work of art. All of the slides were temporarily transferred to Princeton where they were digitized, manipulated and catalogued before being returned to Paris. For further information on the collection please contact Catherine Jolivet-Lévy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project could not have been undertaken without the initiative and enthusiasm of Professor Jolivet-Lévy, Director of the Collection chrétienne et byzantine (Photothèque Gabriel Millet) and the support of the president of the l'École Pratique de Hautes Études, Jean-Claude Waquet, who advised this project at every stage.
A number of their colleagues also deserve to be thanked and these include especially Dominique Couson-Desreumaux, and Ioanna Lagou. Jérôme Billaud, Maximilien Durand, Yves Fayet, Laurence Frabolot, Philippe Hoffmann, Françoise Dairé, Jerome Billaud, Maximilien Durand, Yves Fayet, Laurence Frabolot, and Philippe Hoffmann.
In the Index of Christian Art a number of my colleagues worked on the project and these include John Blazejewski, Michael Clifford, Judith Golden, Emily Possenti, and Jessica Savage. My thanks go to them for their painstaking research and help.
Colum Hourihane, Director, Index of Christian Art
Biography of Gabriel Millet
Browse the Gabriel Millet Manuscript Images
Browse the Gabriel Millet Images of Other Media