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October 27, 2005

Chartres online image archive launched

Detailed images of the French Cathedral of Chartres, located approximately 50 miles southwest of Paris, have been captured on a new Pitt web site (

A joint project of Pitt’s Digital Research Library and Alison Stones, Pitt professor of art history, the web site provides access to more than 3,000 high-resolution images of Chartres Cathedral, each accompanied by descriptive information.

The thousands of images amassed by Stones primarily represent photographs she and her collaborators took of the cathedral during visits to France. The images offer a comprehensive look at the architectural style of the cathedral and its history.

Users can zoom in to examine intricate details of the cathedral’s High Gothic style of architecture, the sculpture of its three major portals, the stained-glass windows depicting stories of the Old and New Testaments and the Lives of the Saints, the fragmentary wall paintings and the illuminations from two historic manuscripts used at the cathedral.

The zoom feature reveals tiny details of the figures and motifs in the windows and sculptures and on elements of tracery, moldings and masonry in the architecture. Keyword searches can be performed over the descriptions that accompany each image.

The image collection originally was designed and partially funded by a grant from the Office of the Provost.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 38 Issue 5

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