The Index of Medieval Art, founded in 1917 by Charles Rufus Morey, chair of the Department of Art and Archaeology, is a unique repository that is of considerable value to students of art history and related disciplines. The largest and most important archive of medieval art in the world, the Index offers unrivalled iconographic documentation, in both text and image, of art from the Early Christian period to the middle of the 16th century. There is a particular emphasis on art of the Western world, but this has been augmented in recent years by the addition of significant documentation of art from Coptic Egypt, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Syria, Armenia, and the Near East.
Works of art in seventeen different media are represented in the archive, including manuscripts, metalwork, sculpture, painting, glass, and ivory. The Index is currently available in both manual and electronic formats, with between one-third and one-half of the holdings available in the electronic database, which now contains nearly 100,000 work of art records, accompanied by more than 150,000 images. Nearly two thousand works of art are added to the archive every year. The Index also offers a small noncirculating library. Students and other visitors are particularly welcome to consult both the Index’s archive and its staff of specialists.