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Art and Architecture: Late Antique and Medieval

The Sackler Library is the premier research library for the study of art and architecture at the University of Oxford. It incorporates the libraries formerly housed at the History of Art Department and the Ashmolean Museum.


Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz (KHI) The online catalogue includes information about monographs, exhibition catalogues, essays, reviews and periodical articles on European art and architecture, with a primary (but by no means exclusive) focus on Italy.
Warburg Insititute (London) Major centrefor the study of the classical tradition as manifested in later centuries (e.g. in Western Europe, Byzantium and early Islamic countries). Its library, photographic collection and archive all have extensive holdings. 
WorldCat Massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide. Useful for finding books and archival materials beyond Oxford.


Gli anni della Cupola: The Years of the Cupola Compiled by Margaret Haines. Online edition of the entire contents of the archive of Florence’s Opera del Duomo for the years during which Brunelleschi’s cupola was planned and constructed (1417-1436). 
Medici Archive (Florence, Italy) Access to the Medici Grand Ducal Archive through scans and transcriptions of original documents. Individuals can be searched according to profession (e.g., actors, architects, artists, collectors, poets, printers, patrons, etc.) 

Currency exchange

Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank (Rutgers University) Information about past currencies, exchange rates, prices and wages.

Online citation & full-text databases, & image resources

Text-based resources

  • Art Full Text (including Art Abstracts) Covers publications 1984 – present. Abstracts available from 1994. Full text coverage varies with journal title. Wide-ranging index to Western-language journal articles, book reviews and images in mainstream archaeology, architecture, conservation and  "fine" and "decorative" arts periodicals. All geographical areas and all periods (ancient – contemporary).
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
    Covers publications 1830s  – present. Index to a huge number of Western-language journal articles and book/exhibition catalogue reviews on architecture, historic preservation and urban design. All geographical areas and all periods.
  • Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles)
    NOTE: Covers publications ca. 1975-2007 only. Index to Western-language journal articles, book reviews, monographs, dissertations, essays and exhibition catalogues on (mostly) European and N. American art and architectural history, ca. 300 C.E. - present. Includes tables of content. Conservation is also included; History of Photography is excluded.
  • Brepols Miscellanea Online - Essays in Medieval Studies Online access to over 5,000 book chapters and articles on medieval studies published in Brepols publications since 1998. It includes books published in series such as Culture et société médiévales, Europa Sacra, Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800) and more.
  • International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) Covers publications 1967 - present.Index to journal articles, essay collections, conference proceedings and Festschriften on all aspects of medieval studies  and all geographical areas.
  • Iter Bibliography Database of more than 1.1 million citations for secondary source material about the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, 400-1700.

Dictionaries & encyclopedias

  • Catholic Encyclopedia Comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and related information.  Originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes, this is the online version of the 1907 edition 
    International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA)
    Clearing house for electronic resources concerning the visual arts of the Middle Ages, in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
  • Oxford-Grove Dictionary of Art (Oxford Art Online) Full-text extended essays (and bibliographies) on most aspects of the art world. Frequent updates. All geographical areas and all periods.

E-books (C16th-C17th)

  • BIVIO (Biblioteca Virtuale Online) Digital versions of key  works by Italian C16th exiles. Items of relevance for art historical research include Michelangelo Biondo’s Della nobilissima pittura, and Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia.
  • Vasari's Le vite (Lives of the Artists) Incomplete online version of Giorgio Vasari’s 1550 edition of Le vite: Le vite dei più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue in sino ai tempi nostri: descritte in lingua Toscana, da Giorgio Vasari, pittore Aretino. Con una sua utile & necessaria introduzzione a le arti loro (Firenze: Lorenzo Torrentino, 1550) in unabridged English translation.
  • Vocabolario Toscano dell'Arte del Disegno, by Filippo Baldinucci Electronic version of Filippo Baldidnucci’s Vocabolario toscano dell,arte del disegno ...: con la notizia de, nomi e qualità delle gioie, metalli, pietre dure, marmi, pietre tenere, sassi, legnami, colori, strumenti, et ogn, altra materia, che servir possa, tanto alla costruzione di edificj e loro ornato, quanto alla stessa pittura e scultura (Firenze: Santi Franchi, 1691). An art- and architecture-focused precursor to the Vocabolario della Crusca, Baldinucci’s dictionary is an excellent place for research into the history of Italian art and technology terminology, especially terms relating to practices and techniques.


  • ARTstor Union collection of image collections worldwide. Approaching 1,000,000 images covering all periods, all geographic areas and all types of art, architecture and archaeology as well as other subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Hisitory of Medicine and Science. Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives, including the Bodleian’s Western Manuscripts and Incunabula collection. All periods, all geographic areas.
    NOTE: You may be asked to confirm this as a Trusted Site. Click the  "YES" button several times to confirm access.
  • Bridgeman Education 300,000+ images of objects from museums, galleries and private collections, as well as buildings and monuments. Images cover visual culture worldwide, from pre-History to the present day. Media covered include photography, fine art, engravings, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, artefacts and applied arts. It addresses the interests of such disciplines as art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, & ethnography, history, science & medicine. All periods, all geographic areas.
  • Corsair Images (Morgan Library, New York) Access to 15,000+ digitized images from the Morgan's collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Users may page through every illustrated leaf within a manuscript, or search for individual images by place or date of creation, artist's name, illustration type, and subject.
  • Early Manuscripts at Oxford Digital facsimiles of complete manuscripts, scanned directly from the originals. Includes the collections of Balliol College, the Bodleian Library, Corpus Christi College, Jesus College, Magdalen College, Merton College, St. John's College.
  • Enluminures (Ministère de la Culture and l'Institut de recherche d'histoire des textes [CNRS], Paris) 120 000 images from 5,000+ medieval manuscripts held by French municipal libraries.
  • Fondazione Zeri - Fototeca (University of Bologna) Access to the photographic collection (ca. 200,000 images) assembled by art historian and connoisseur Fererico Zeri. The photographs document mainly Italian art, not only located in Italy but also elsewhere.
  • Gothic Ivories Project (Courtauld Institute, London) Database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530, plus neo-Gothic ivory pieces. Objects & images come from a variety of institutions worldwide.
  • Iconclass (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie [RKD], The Hague) Iconclass is a classification system designed for art and iconography. While theoretically applicable to all artistic periods, it tends most to be associated with medieval and early modern studies. Print volumes associated with Iconclass are at the Sackler Library.
  • Index of Medieval Art (Princeton University) Bibliographic and iconographic index to images of Late Antique and Medieval art objects, to 1400 C.E. Digital images are being incorporated gradually, beginning with the illuminated manuscript holdings of the Morgan Library, New York.
    Note: Only a part of the Index is online. Consultation of the physically collection (at Princeton) is recommended for in-depth research.
  • Mapping Gothic France Images, texts, charts and historical maps covering 12th-13thC French gothic architecture.
  • Mudira (Munich DIgital Research Archives) Joint digitisation project of the Institute of Egyptology and Coptology at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) and the Munich State Museum of Egyptian Art.
  • Parker Lilbrary (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK) Digitised manuscripts (some with illuminations).
  • RETIF -- Répertoire des tableaux italiens dans les collections publiques françaises (XIIIe-XIXe siècles) Online catalogue of 13th – 19th century Italian paintings in French public collections.