News of the German Corpus Vitrearum Website

Since 2010, the German Corpus Vitrearum’s two centres of operation, Freiburg and Potsdam, have had a joint website. Its original purpose was to present our research project, supported by the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, to the public. Over time, scholarly resources have been added, such as the Picture Archive, digital versions of individual German Corpus Vitrearum volumes, and an accumulated index of all our publications since 1958, among other things. One of the intentions behind the 2019 relaunch of the website was to make this shift towards its being a research platform more apparent. Now a new tab has been introduced as a complement to the Picture Archive: ‘Glasmalereien im Kontext’ (‘Stained Glass in Context’).

Fig. 1. Digital Picture Archive, German Corpus Vitrearum Website

The home page at features a six-tab menu: ‘Bildarchiv’ (‘Picture Archive’), ‘Glasmalereien im Kontext’ (‘Stained Glass in Context’), ‘Das Projekt’ (‘The Project’), ‘Publikationen’ (‘Publications’), ‘Recherche’ (‘Research’), and ‘Aktuelles’ (‘News’). The most important of these, both for the Corpus Vitrearum’s international research community and anyone interested in stained glass, will no doubt be our digital Picture Archive (Fig. 1). It currently contains 6,395 records and is being expanded on an occasional basis. A search field allows users to find specific images by means of a free-text search (for example, by place name, personal name, iconography, technical term, etc.); there are also search filters that allow you to narrow down your results. For searches made using Iconclass codes, similar, supplementary results are shown, if there are any, from the Picture Archive of the Vitrocentre in Romont, as well as from that of the Austrian CVMA (the latter facility is in preparation: click here for more information). All the images are supplied with full metadata and can be downloaded as high-resolution files under licence CC BY-NC 4.0. The metadata specification can be consulted, as can a list of all the codes applied to categorize images.

The next menu item is ‘Glasmalereien im Kontext’. This new tab, which only went live on 12 October 2020, is, as mentioned, a complement to the Picture Archive. The individual panels and groups of panels in the Picture Archive, which of necessity have been separated from their architectonic and iconographic contexts, are brought together contextually under this tab with text and images. It is the German Corpus Vitrearum’s aim gradually to expand its presentation of church buildings in all respects, with explanatory texts and interactive images. This way the user will be able to establish the exact extent of stained glass in a particular building, either via lists (of locations, parts of buildings, windows, and of individual panels or groups of panels), or explore at will, taking a map as a starting point, and moving over images of interactive ground-plans, overall views, and conservation diagrams of whole windows, right down to the level of individual panels (Figs 2–4).

Fig. 2. Example of building overview, Stained Glass in Context, German Corpus Vitrearum Website

Fig. 3. Example of window view, Stained Glass in Context, German Corpus Vitrearum Website

Fig. 4. Example of panel view, Stained Glass in Context, German Corpus Vitrearum Website

A series of articles entitled ‘Scheibenweise’ (‘Panel by Panel’) – which is, admittedly, growing slowly, but continuously – was added to the ‘Publikationen’ tab in 2018. These short contributions present the results of research currently being undertaken by the German Corpus Vitrearum. The ‘Aktuelles’ tab, which was implemented earlier, in 2017, is used in the main to flag up new publications, including ones outside the German CVMA series, as well as to provide news about forthcoming events.

Uwe Gast, translated by Joseph Spooner

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