The history of vitrosearch

vitrosearch is a scientific database created as a joint initiative of the Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée Romont.

The Vitrocentre Romont is dedicated to research in stained glass, reverse glass painting and glass objects. Many book publications have resulted from this research, much of which has been conducted in association with the Corpus Vitrearum. This international research organization has played a pioneering role in the creation of inventories and the systematic publication of works and sources related to glass art. The Vitrocentre Romont was therefore quick to apply the Corpus Vitrearum’s research approach to its own projects and has subsequently developed a large number of databases (created with FileMaker) that are used for internal purposes.

For its part, the Vitromusée Romont aims, on the one hand, to preserve historical and contemporary glass art by collecting works that exemplify the history and diversity of this art form, and on the other, to draw attention to its importance through exhibitions.

The idea behind vitrosearch was to make documentation from the Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée Romont widely accessible by putting it online, thereby reflecting the mandates of these complementary institutions.

The idea became more concrete in 2013, as implementation of the database began to be planned in detail.

The project is also important from the point of view of the preservation of glass as a cultural asset, in that it aims to systematically digitize graphic works (maquettes and preparatory drawings) that are kept in the archives. This ensures not only that these graphic works can be shown to their best advantage, but that they are preserved in the long term and protected from over-handling.

The first objects that became accessible online at the end of 2017 reflect the richness and diversity of glass art. New collections and individual works will be added to the database on an ongoing basis.

Aims

The main aim of vitrosearch is the promotion of Swiss glass art. The platform serves as a tool for publishing research and for showcasing objects.

This aim is realized by providing access to a web-based database. vitrosearch is an open-access database structured in a way that facilitates continual modification and updating. The platform serves as an ideal vehicle for presenting works that have been the subject of scientific research by the Vitrocentre as well as new collections acquired by the Vitromusée.

One advantage of vitrosearch is that it allows connections to be made between individual entries, not only between the works themselves (for example linking a work in a church to its counterpart in a museum, or a glass object to graphic works or preparatory drawings), but also between a work and the place it is stored, or the artist or workshop that produced it.

Content

Objects are continuously entered into the vitrosearch database on the basis of priorities and ongoing Vitrocentre and Vitromusée projects. Several inventory strategies are being pursued in parallel, such as the topographical inventorying of stained glass and glass objects in a particular canton or region, which is carried out in collaboration with cantonal institutions (for example museums) and according to precise mandates. At the same time, objects from the Vitromusée’s collections are described systematically and the details entered into the database.

The long-term aim is to include in the database glass art works that can be deemed works of Swiss cultural heritage, or that are connected to Switzerland, and thereby to provide a resource for the research community. This comprehensive approach means that vitrosearch will span an extensive chronological period (from the Middle Ages to the present day) and will incorporate a wide variety of object types. The database includes stained glass, dalles de verre, reverse glass painting and glass objects – as well as graphic works and preparatory drawings from workshops or individual artists. The database will eventually also incorporate entries on glass-making tools.

Further development of the project

The vitrosearch project is not concluded upon activation of the online platform, but will develop continuously: on the one hand with the ongoing addition of new digitized collections, and on the other, with the integration of new functionality and standards aimed at improving search performance and the visualization of research data.

Scientific partners and financial support

The vitrosearch platform is an internal project of the Swiss Centre of Glass Art (Vitrocentre and Vitromusée Romont). Various partners have provided advice and assistance during the implementation of the project:

For questions regarding the concept and content of vitrosearch, please contact: info@vitrosearch.ch

The database was created with generous financial support from the following public institutions and private foundations:

Institutions that supported specific projects are listed on the project description page.

We rely on additional funding for maintaining vitrosearch and for further development of the project. Any financial support or donations are highly appreciated. Please contact us if you would like to support vitrosearch or wish to inquire about funding a particular project (info@vitrosearch.ch).

The project could not have been accomplished without reproduction rights being granted by those holding the copyright for works included in the database, for which we would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks.

Rights and citation guidelines

Copyright of images

The images in vitrosearch are protected by copyright. The Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée make every effort to locate and obtain reproduction rights from the corresponding copyright holders. We wish to thank all the artists and copyright holders who have granted reproduction rights for images. Despite our endeavours, it is not always possible to contact those holding the copyright for specific images. In such cases, we are grateful if the individuals concerned contact us in order to clarify the legal situation.

vitrosearch users may not use images from the database without prior permission. Each database entry includes an order form that can be used to apply for permission to use the image(s) associated with that entry. For images that are protected by copyright, additional authorization must be obtained from the copyright holder. The Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée are in no way responsible for the use of images by third parties.

Citation guidelines

The object entries are subject to copyright protection. The use of data for private or academic purposes is governed by conventions of academic probity. The entries may be cited in the same manner as articles. The publication (online or offline) of unmodified entries from vitrosearch and any commercial use of such entries requires the express permission of the Vitrocentre or the Vitromusée Romont. Please contact us in advance should you wish to copy text from vitrosearch for anything other than personal use (info@vitrosearch.ch).

Links to vitrosearch or to specific database entries are permitted and encouraged.

Entries should be cited as follows:

Author(s) of the entries (year of publication or date when last updated). Title of the entry (title of work, name of artist, name of workshop, name of building). In vitrosearch. Accessible at: URL of vitrosearch entry

Example:

Sauterel, V. (2008). Vision de Constantin. In vitrosearch. Accessible at: http://vitrosearch.ch/fr/objects/2209132

Noverraz, C. (2015). Pillard-Verneuil, Maurice. In vitrosearch. Accessible at: http://vitrosearch.ch/fr/artists/2259453

Hasler, R., Keller, S. und Bergmann, U. (2016). Wappenscheibe Johann (Hans) Anton II. Tillier. In vitrosearch. Accessible at: http://vitrosearch.ch/fr/objects/2246241

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