Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (Phase II: Enhancing Stained Glass Studies)

The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) is an international survey of stained glass. CVMA in Great Britain has so far published one hundred printed volumes to date in addition to the online publications which include a substantial image archive; a prototype digital publication of the stained glass in Norfolk; and an online magazine called 'Vidimus' (available at

Phase I of the CVMA digital publication project provided access to a digital Picture Archive, containing nearly 18,000 images of medieval stained glass. This work was based at the Courtaul Institute of Art, and supported by a research award (2001–2004) from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, and by a special grant from the British Academy (2006). Technical research and development was carried out by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King's College London.

Phase II of the project, called 'Enhancing Stained Glass Studies', was funded by the JISC digitisation programme from 2008 - 09 and substantially upgrading the public facing website and administrative tools, again with technical work carried out at CCH:
* An additional 5000 images are being added to the image archive;
* A new iconographic taxonomy of subject terms (nearly 1500) has been created, along with a web-based tagging environment which allows a gated community of specialists to quickly classify the images in the collection. By the end of 2009 some 50% of the images in the archive will have been classified, enabling a powerful new search interface allowing the images to be seached by what the stained glass depicts. The taxonomy is linked to existing IconClass classifications where appropriate.
* A completely new web-based interface for managing the CVMA database, complete with tols for automating image processing and management of the iconographic taxonomy, has been developed, allowing the database to be updated and maintained by a team of users throughout the UK;
* The public facing website is being substantially rebuilt from the ground up.

Principal investigator
Dr Tim Ayers; Anna Eavis
Principal project staff
Anna Eavis, Joseph Spooner, Paul Vetch
Start date
Friday, January 1, 1999
Completion date
Friday, January 1, 2010
Source material
Images supplied by English Heritage / National Monuments Record Content derived from the CVMA print publications Data and metadata compiled by the CVMA project team, based at the University of York Groundplans can be viewed for nearly 200 churches, supplied courtesy of the Lambeth Palace Church Plans Project

(see project web site for extensive list of publications)