The Index of Christian Art is now available on the World Wide Web. Since 1991, when computers were introduced to the Index, all new works of art documented by the archive have been electronically classified. All of these records together with approximately 30% of the manual files is on this Internet application. This is the largest database of medieval art in existence with full-text records for nearly 80,000 works of art dating from early apostolic times to A.D. 1550. Each work, depending on the medium can have up to fifty different classification fields, including data such as location/ownership, date, school, style, etc. The subject matter of each work is classified under one or more of the 28,000 subject terms developed over ninety years by the Index and a full-text description accompanies each work.
Nearly 50,000 bibliographic records support these records on works of art. This file has been described as one of the major resources of the archive. Bibliographic entries spanning the ninety years of the Index are included. This bibliography covering iconography, art history, archaeology, religious, and classical studies is a specialized reference tool which is not found elsewhere.
The 28,000 subject terms developed by the Index to classify its subject matter are also available on this internet site. These terms cover the entire subject matter of the Index and are not only a means to classify the iconography within the Index but also provide an invaluable tool to the indexer searching for unidentified subject matter. The terms are structured in a thesaurus type format with a reference to a textual correlate where known. These terms have been used by a number of other archives to classify their own collections, and this is the first listing which is publicly available.
Nearly 100,000 images are now available to public subscribers as part of this database. These come from institutions such as the Morgan Library, New York, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Princeton University, Jane Vadnal Image Collection and the James Austin Photographic Collection as well as from a number of other private and public collections all of which are listed. Copyright for all of the images attached to this database lies with the named individual or institution and permission to reproduce part or all of these images must be requested from the relevant source. Printouts from the database are for study purposes only.
Access to the database is possible on a predetermined number of levels from Browse to Simple Find to Advanced Find Level catering to the inexperienced to the expert user. The Internet application has been described as one of the most flexible approaches to electronic studies in existence. The database is periodically updated as works of art are catalogued-they are made available to the subscriber.
Access is provided for a minimum period of twelve months from the date of subscription. Institutional access is provided at a cost of $1,500 per annum. Individual subscribers using their own non-institutional I.P. address are charged $500 per annum.
Colum Hourihane, Director
Index of Christian Art, McCormick Hall,
Princeton, NJ 08544-1018
Phone: (609) 258-6363,
Fax: (609) 258-0103