Index of Medieval Art

Mission Statement

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 opportunities 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 print index and online database together make available approximately 350,000 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 research center, 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 Medieval Institute Publications to produce the journal Studies in Iconography and with Penn State University Press to co-publish the new book series Signa: Papers of the Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University.