C. Web-based pictorial information systems using Iconclass for subject access

Here are listed the databases that are available online. Some of them, e.g. British Book Illlustrations and the Virtuelles Kupferstichkabinett, are using the Harvester of Iconclass Metadata (HIM) technology, which allows them to offer most of the search functionalities of the Iconclass Browser. If you have additional information about websites offering Iconclass search capabilities, please let us know.


The Arkyves aggregator site, bringing together sources like medieval illuminated manuscripts, printer's devices and emblems, paintings and graphic material from the collections of a.o. the Rijksmuseum, Folger Shakespeare Library, Herzog August Bibliothek, the Getty Institute, and Glasgow University Library.
N.B.: Access is restricted to subscribers.
Also see: https://brill.com/view/db/arko


The Iconclass Artificial Intelligence Test Set is a dataset of 87,749 images, to be used for the training of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning software. The images have been indexed with Iconclass concepts, so every picture is combined with a rich "bag of words". Images and Iconclass metadata can be downloaded and used for training and testing purposes.
Contact us at the email address shown below if you are interested in a dataset more focussed on a specific domain. We might be able to help you.


Biblia Sacra is an electronic bibliography, allowing its users to request information (text and reproductions) on bibles, individual bible books or parts thereof, printed in the Netherlands and Belgium, or bibles printed in other countries that might reasonably be expected to be destined for the Dutch or Belgian market. Gathers bible illustration from the period 1447-1800.
Included in Arkyves.


The Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur (Image Index of Art and Architecture) is an aggregator site bringing together collections of circa 80 heritage institutions, museum, libraries, archives, documentation institutes, which makes it the largest collection of objects classified with Iconclass.


Incunables in Bavaria
With more than 20,000 copies of 9,742 printed editions, the collection of incunabula of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is not only Germany's largest collection, but, taking the number of copies as a measure, it is the most extensive collection of any library worldwide.
Included in Arkyves.


Bibliothèques virtuelles humanistes
The project produces digital editions of works printed during the European Renaissance in high resolution scans and full text transcriptions. It aims at bringing together key sources of the 16th and 17th century in many different fields.
Included in Arkyves.


Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration contains records and images of 868 literary illustrations that were published in or around 1862, providing bibliographical and iconographical details, as well as the ability for users to view images at exceptionally high quality.
Included in Arkyves.


Emblematica Online draws from the most important collections of emblematica worldwide. It is hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and its founding partner is the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel.
Included in Arkyves.


The Emblem Project Utrecht - currently includes 27 Dutch love emblem books, religious as well as profane. For all of these there are full transcriptions, page facsimiles and indexes, as well as extented search options.
Included in Arkyves.


Erdteilallegorien im Barockzeitalter im Heiligen Römischen Reich Deutscher Nation
Database of allegorical representations of regions of the world, found in the area of the Holy Roman Empire, particularly as ceiling decoration.


The project Festkultur-Online brings together German prints that illustrate the Festkultur of the Baroque period. It is a collaborative project of the Herzo August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel and the University of Warwick and the British Library. In all 567 printed works are made available


British Book Illustrations (BBI) is a project of the Folger Shakespeare Library, to digitize and index 10,000 woodcut and engraved illustrations in British and English-language books. BBI focuses on books renowned for their illustrations, digitizing and indexing an illustrations contained in the Folger collection of British imprints of the 17th century.
Included in Arkyves.


Alciato at Glasgow
This website gives access to twenty-two editions of the emblems of Andrea Alciato (1492-1550), the pater et princeps of the emblem genre. The editions date from 1531 to 1621, in the original Latin, and in French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions. All books digitised are from the Stirling Maxwell Collection in Glasgow University Library.
Included in Arkyves.


French emblems at Glasgow
This website provides access to all the French Emblem Books of the 16th century in the Stirling Maxwell collection along with their Latin versions when appropriate. they are supplemented with editions from the Bodleian Library and the Bibliothèque Mazarine.
Included in Arkyves.


Erschließung alchemiegeschichtlicher Quellen in der Herzog August Bibliothek
A portal for (illustrated) sources for the history of Alchemy. A project of the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel that aims to make the Alchemica sources more accessible for historians of the history of culture and of the sciences.
Included in Arkyves.


Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts is a site that brings together all illustrations (miniatures, marginal decorations, historiated initials) found in the manuscripts of the Dutch Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum (Huis van het Boek). Additions to the collections acquired after 2000 are not included in the website.
Included in Arkyves.


A digital edition of Kirschbaum's classic Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie. The full text of the Lexicon is made searchable, the lemmata have been indexed with Iconclass. Automatic translation via Google Translate has been added so the text is understandable in e.g. English, French and Italian.

N.B.: access is restricted to institutions that have purchased this digital edition.


Founded by Thomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan, The Leiden Collection is among the largest and most important collections of seventeenth-century Dutch art in private hands. The Online Catalogue of The Leiden Collection, edited by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, explores the Collection through scholarly entries of more than 175 paintings and drawings, artist biographies, and essays.
Included in Arkyves.


Pietro Marengo's collection of satirical journals
Published by the university of Milan, the Fondo Marengo brings together satirical illustrations of the late 19th and the 20th century, searchable by subject matter.
The collection is included in the Arkyves database, where English translations are added to the original Italian descriptions.
Included in Arkyves.


Broadside Ballads Online presents a digital collection of English printed ballad-sheets from between the 16th and 20th centuries, linked to other resources for the study of the English ballad tradition.
This resource is maintained by the Bodleian Libraries and features the Bodleian's digital collections of ballads, with links to the English Broadside Ballad Archive’s digital presentations of pre-1800 ballads from other libraries, and to the folk song scholarship of the Roud Broadside Index, hosted by the English Folk Dance and Song Society.


Getty Provenance Index
Archival inventories are legal documents from private and public archives that list objects from a household. The inventories list works of art from private collections in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain from 1520 to 1880. The GPI has descriptions of more than 13,000 documents, from which more than 276,000 individual records have been extracted. Photocopies of most of these documents can be found in the Collectors Files.
Included in Arkyves.


The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
In an on-going process the Dutch Rijksmuseum is indexing many of its collections with Iconclass, and making them available - both the pictures and the metadata - for re-use under a Creative Commons licence.
Partly included in Arkyves.


Iconclass at the RKD
Of all the RKD digital collections the Images database makes the most use of Iconclass. Art works on a mythological or biblical subject are generally marked with Iconclass codes. In Explore you can find art works by searching on these Iconclass codes. The RKD also has a collection of images in the study room which are categorised by subject code. The iconographic book collection is also sorted using the Iconclass system.
Partly included in Arkyves.


Städel Museum Digital Collection
The traditional core activities of a museum – collecting, researching, conservation, exhibiting, and knowledge dissemination – are being fundamentally redefined. That’s why, as a public institution, the Städel Museum has been working on expanding its digital content since 2012, to help take its educational mission and public engagement beyond the confines of its bricks-and-mortar museum building. All digital offerings from the Städel are available for free and provide unlimited, global access to a common cultural heritage.


The Virtuelles Kupferstichkabinett is the shared research database of the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museums in Braunschweig and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Its aim is to provide a single access point to their combined print collections.
At this moment the Virtual Print Cabinet contains more than 110,000 objects.
Partly included in Arkyves.


Az Infinitum Sistema de Referência & Indexação de Azulejo The study of azulejos (tiles) has asserted itself as a specific area of study in the history of art of Portugal, although its objects are in a close relationship with other areas of the visual arts - painting, architecture, sculpture, etc - as those who produced them mastered other techniques as well.
The Az infinitum site offers the most extensive database in the field of the study of Portuguese tiles.


GALICONES is a scholarly database and digital library formed of prints used to illustrate early modern books which are currently held in the General Library of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). It is part of the project in progress "The Management of Knowledge in Digital Humanities: Iconclass Index and Iconographic Study of a Sample of the Rare Book Collection at the USC", conducted by Carme López Calderón and funded by the Programa de axudas á etapa posdoutoral da Xunta de Galicia (Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria).
Partly included in Arkyves.


The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi Deutschland (CVMA) is part of the international _Corpus Vitrearum_, which was founded to make the medieval stained glass heritage of Europe and of the museum collections of the US and Canada available for research. Shortly after its foundation this initiative, now spanning 15 countries, was adopted by the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA), and since 1956 it is also taken under its wings by the Union Académique International (UAI).


Vitrosearch is a research database for glass art created by the Vitrocentre Romont. Vitrocentre Romont is dedicated to research in stained glass, reverse glass painting and glass objects. Vitrosearch also includes inventories of the Corpus Vitrearum Switzerland as well as art works from the collection of the Vitromusée Romont.


Collection of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence. The catalog currently consists of approximately 40,000 descriptive records and provides access to circa 45,000 zoomable images of works of art. The collection's strength lies in the photographic reproduction of European paintings and drawings from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The database includes a conspicuous amount of unpublished and unknown material. Digitised materials are gradually being added.


Heartfield Online. John Heartfield mostly created his art under adverse conditions: his life was marked by persecution and exile. He used art as a propagandistic "weapon" against social injustice and political opponents and in particular the National Socialists. It attracted the attention of the censorship authorities and had to be viewed in secret – yet it reached an audience of millions. Over 6,000 works, fragile objects made of paper, survived war, flight and exile, and are now kept by the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.


Fondation Custodia - Collection Frits Lugt. The Collection Online, launched in February 2020, is still in its early stages and consists of object records for a part of the collection. Currently, all the Italian drawings, as well as those by Rembrandt and his circle held by the Fondation Custodia are available to search in the online collection database. This concerns over 700 objects. In the upcoming years, the database will be updated with other works of art on an ongoing basis. At the moment publication is being prepared of the Rembrandt etchings, Flemish and Dutch Old Master paintings, French 19th century drawings, and part of the collection of artists’ letters and manuscripts (French autographs 14th-17th century).


Répertoire International d’Iconographie musicale (RIdIM)
Database on music and dance in art of the German branch of the Répertoire International d'Iconographie musicale (RIdIM) More than 21,000 representations of music and dance on objects of all art genres and styles, all periods and contexts of origin from collections of museums, libraries and archives in Germany.


Das Erbe Schinkels (The Schinkel Legacy)
Online catalog of the bequest of Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett, Museum of Prints and Drawings


Kulturelles Erbe Köln (Cologne Cultural Heritage)
Image database of holdings of Cologne museums, presented by Rheinisches Bildarchiv (Photographic Archives of the Rhineland) Partially integrated into the Bildindex.


Museum Belvedere Vienna
Collection database of the Belvedere's paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings.


Imago, collective digital catalogue
Imago è il catalogo collettivo digitale di opere grafiche, fotografiche e cartografiche (stampe, disegni, manifesti, figurine, fotografie, cartoline), dal quindicesimo al ventunesimo secolo, appartenenti a istituzioni culturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna. Consultabile sul web dal 2000, oggi propone oltre 1 milione di informazioni bibliografiche relative a un ricco patrimonio di immagini storiche, satiriche, didascaliche, allegoriche, documentarie e d’invenzione, comprensive di opere provenienti da corpora letterari e iconografici di importanti archivi culturali del '900.


Inventaria Rudolphina
The painting collection of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, scattered during the Thirty Years’ War, was one of the foremost ensembles of its kind in Europe. The inventories, period testimonies and other sources, and last but not least identified works, provide an idea of its scope. Heuristic research and the "Art for display" database allow an analysis of the collection with a regard to pictorial genres composition and the representation of painters, painting “schools”, also its spatial arrangement and administration.


e-ilustrace - Database of Early Modern Czech Book Illustration
E-illustration is a research database of book illustrations published in the Czech Lands up to 1550. It is an ongoing pioneering project of the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the National Library of the Czech Republic. The bilingual research database will provide access to nearly 6,000 printed images used by Czech printers in the first phase of the history of book printing.


Kunstdenkmäler in Ostmitteleuropa (FoKO) - Monuments of Eastern Central Europe
A portal created for the transnational project Forschungsinfrastruktur Kunstdenkmäler in Ostmitteleuropa which focusses on the monuments of the eastern part of Central Europe, a region with a complex historical dynamic. It is closely related to the project to produce a Handbuch zur Geschichte der Kunst in Ostmitteleuropa at the Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO) at the university of Leipzig.


National Gallery of Art, Washington
The National Gallery of Art, founded as a gift to the nation, serves as a center of visual art, education, and culture. The collection of more than 150,000 paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings spans the history of Western art and showcases some of the triumphs of human creativity. In a project of limited scope - Netherlandish art - Iconclass concepts were applied to a small selection of items; the concepts are shown as Related Terms.


Historische Bildpostkarten - Sammlung Prof. Dr. Sabine Giesbrecht
An archive of postcards of the University of Osnabrück. The university is creating a pictorial information system that gives access to the collection, allowing it to be used as a source of cultural and historical research. The project is supported by the Sievert-Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur and the Ministeriums für Wissenschaft und Kultur des Landes Niedersachsen. At the moment the site contains some 15,000 iconographically indexed cards.


Via REALonline – the image database of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (IMAREAL) of the University of Salzburg – the visual cultural heritage in Austria and in regions of Middle Europe is accessible. The new version of REALonline is a result of a cooperation between the humanities and the information sciences. For over 45 years, staff members of the Institute for Material Culture (IMAREAL) took photos of visual media – mainly 12th to 16th centuries – in museums, collections, churches and libraries. They are the basis for structured and comprehensive datasets that allow for a recording of a great number of depicted elements. REALonline is the most important long-term project of the IMAREAL. The Institute is situated in Krems and is part of the University of Salzburg. The number of datasets in the database is ca. 22.500 and new ones are added continually. In the past 15 years, since REALonline is accessible via internet, web technologies and the use of data on the internet have changed completely. Thus REALonline got a complete make over – from the database management system to the usability of the user interface. It is now available with a lot of new features which were designed for the use in the scientific community as well as for public use in general.


Ottoman Nature in Travelogues, 1501–1850: a Digital Analysis (ONIT)
This interdisciplinary Digital Humanities project analyzes Ottoman “nature” (flora, fauna, landscapes) in travelogues on the Ottoman empire, printed between 1501 and 1850. The leading questions are what role representations of nature played in the reports, whether and, if so, why differences occurred in diachronic and synchronic perspectives and how the texts and images related to each other. This analysis aims to shed new light on transnational environmental and natural history. ONiT started in 2022 and will last until 2025. Historians, Ottomanists, Computer and Library Scientists from the Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies (IHB) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Austrian National Library (ÖNB) in Vienna, the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, and the Marmara University in Istanbul work closely together. The project team creates a multilingual corpus (German, English, French, and Latin) of around 2,000 travel reports and a smaller sub-corpus of Arabic, Ottoman, and Persian accounts. The focus is on the holdings of the Austrian National Library, which are supplemented by collections from other institutions around the world.


Internationale Computerspielsammlung - International Computer Game Collection
The International Computer Game Collection (Internationale Computerspielesammlung) is a project of the Computer Game Museum (Computerspielemuseum), the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle – USK), the Digital Games Research Center for the University of Potsdam (DIGAREC) and their collection, the German Games Industry Association and the Foundation for Digital Games Culture (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur), in 2017, with the objective of creating the world’s biggest collection of video and computer games. By combining the software collections held by the Computer Game Museum, USK and DIGAREC with the archive of the German Computer Games Awards (Deutscher Computerspielpreis) in a two-stage process, one of the world’s most extensive and important collections is created, bringing together over 58,000 computer and video games.


AIDS als globales Medienereignis. Plakate und ihre Bildsprache im interkulturellen Vergleich
The Project. This research project focusses on the international AIDS Poster collection of the German Hygiene Museum, which brings together some 10,000 posters from 147 countries. With the help of this poster collection the way AIDS is presented in the media can be analysed. The world of symbols and images used in the communication about AIDS "travelled" together with the virus. This phenomenon of "visual transport" was central to the research to the work of the Croatian art historian Vladimir Čajkovac. He studied specific themes, motifs and symbols of the communication about AIDS with the help of posters from the USA and selected African countries. Iconclass was used to organize the information.