The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database

Caroline Bruzelius, Paola Vitolo
2011 - present | Project Website

The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database is a geo-referenced database of historic images from the 15th through the mid- 20th centuries that represent the medieval monuments and cities constructed by the rulers of the historic Kingdom of Sicily: the Normans, the Hohenstaufen, the Swabians, and the Angevins. The kings and queens of these dynasties, who ruled from the late 11th until the early 15th centuries, were active patrons of the arts, founding, building and decorating hundreds of abbeys, churches, castles, and other kinds of monuments. Our database identifies, collects, and illustrates images that are found in museums, libraries, archives and publications throughout Europe and the United States as an aid for travelers and scholars. The images, which were often produced by traveling artists and architects as part of the Grand Tour, document the appearance of these historic structures prior to their transformation (or destruction) as the result of Baroque remodeling, urban expansion, earthquakes, the tragic aerial bombardment of WWII, and dramatic restoration.

project-kos-website


The database is organized topographically by location. Mapping components “Map View” and “Map Research Questions” permit users to visualize their queries of the database in relation to Roman roads and ports, many of which were still the primary means of access to the Kingdom in the Middle Ages. Information about the website is available both in Italian and in English.

Our purpose is to make as many historic images available to the public for research and study as possible. This initiative was originally created with funds from 2011-2014 from The National Endowment for the Humanities; although we are currently not funded, we continue to receive it IT and data management support from Duke University.


Collaborators

Co-Pi’s: Caroline Bruzelius and Paola Vitolo

Project Managers: Olga Grlic, Joseph Williams

Data Manager and Data and Web Developer: David Tremmel

Project Coordinator: William Broom

Research Collaborators: Francesco Gangemi

Metadata and Image Consultant: John Taormina

Web and Visualization Consultant: Hannah Jacobs

Geospatial Consultant: Brian Norberg

Affiliate Collaborator: Michael O’Sullivan

Student Team Leader: Jessica Williams

Student Researchers: Jessica EdelsonEmma Keaton, Brenden Li, Adriano Napoli, Julia Nasco


Publications & Presentations

2020: In press: Caroline Bruzelius, “Robert Willis in Naples,” Napoli nobilissima, 2020

2020: In press: Caroline Bruzelius, “Imperialism, Orientalism, and the North European Encounter with Palermo,” Exhibition catalogue: Chiaromonte. Lusso, prestigio, politica e guerra nella Sicilia del Trecento Un restauro verso il futuro, Palermo.

2019: Paola Vitolo, “Il Medioevo illustrato nella Sicilia di Gustavo Chiesi (1892),” ArcHistoR (Extra N. 5/2019): Il Sud Italia: schizzi e appunti di viaggio. L’interpretazione dell’immagine, la ricerca di una identità, ed. Bruno Mussari and Giuseppina Scamardì, pp. 396-435. http://pkp.unirc.it/ojs/index.php/archistor/issue/view/42

2018: Paola Vitolo, Caroline Bruzelius, “Recovering the Architectural Patrimony of South Italy: The Medieval Kingdm of Sicily Image Database,” in Progetti Digitali per la storia dell’arte medievale / Digital projects in Medieval Art History, ed. P. Vitolo, 10th supplement, Archeologia e Calcolatori, CNR-ISMA (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico), Edizioni All’Insegna del Giglio, Sesto Fiorentino (FI) 2018, pp. 15-28.: http://www.archcalc.cnr.it/supplements/idyear_sup.php?IDyear=2018-01-01

2018: Caroline Bruzelius, Paola Vitolo, Joseph Williams, “Historical Images and the Recovery of the Past. The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” Patrimoni culturali nell’era digitale. Memorie, culture umanistiche e tecnologia/Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age. Memory, Humanities and Technologies, Book of Abstracts of the 7th AIUCD congress (Italian Association for Digital Humanities) (Bari, January 31 – February 2, 2018), ed. D. Spampinato, Bologna 2018 (ISBN: 9788894253528, https://umanisticadigitale.unibo.it/pages/view/boa), pp. 135-138.

2018: Caroline Bruzelius, “Field Note: Digital Technologies and New Evidence in Architectural History,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 76, no. 4, pp. 436-439.

2017: Paola Vitolo, “Un contributo allo studio del patrimonio artistico e architettonico dell’Italia meridionale: il progetto The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” Sicily through foreign eyes: travelling architects/La Sicilia nello sguardo degli altri: architetti in viaggio, acts of the international seminar (Università degli studi di Catania, Dipartimento di Architettura, Siracusa, May 18-19, 2017) eds. P. Barbera and M. R. Vitale, Siracusa, LetteraVentidue, pp. 304-321.

2017: Paola Vitolo, “Il Medioevo, il paesaggio, le città: evocazione, interpretazione, documentazione. Il progetto The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” La città, il viaggio, il turismo. Percezione, produzione, trasformazione, eds. G. Belli, F. Capano, M. I. Pascariello, acts of the 8th AISU Congress (Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana- Italian Association for Urban History: La città, il viaggio, il turismo. Percezione, produzione e trasformazione (Napoli, September 7-9, 2017), e-book 2017 (www.iconografiacittaeuropea.unina.it), section: Il Sud d’Italia tra schizzi e appunti di Viaggio. L’interpretazione dell’immagine, la ricerca di una identità, eds. B Mussari, G. Scamardì, pp. 731-736.

2016: Caroline Bruzelius, Paola Vitolo, “The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” Archeologia e Calcolatori», 27, 2016, pp. 107-130.

2016: Paola Vitolo, “The Kingdom of Sicily Database Project,” Virtual Museum of Archaeological Computing”, project of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and of the Italian National Research Council, directed by P. Moscati: http://archaeologicalcomputing.isma.cnr.it/itineraries/ > Projects.

2016: Caroline Bruzelius, “Visualizing the Medieval Past. The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database Project,” Quei maledetti normani. Studi offerti a Errico Cuozzo per i suoi settant’anni. 109-116.

2015: Caroline Bruzelius, “The Norman Cathedral of Sant’Agata in Catania,” L’Officina dello sguardo. Scritti in onore di Maria Andaloro, Rome, pp. 121-126

 

Presentations

2018: Paola Vitolo, Joseph Williams, “Historical Images and the Recovery of the Past. The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” 7th AIUCD Congress (Italian Association for Digital Humanities) “Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age. Memory, Humanities and Technologies.” Università degli studi di Bari, January 31–February 2.

2017: Paola Vitolo “I viaggiatori stranieri e la scoperta dei monumenti medievali siciliani: l’esperienza del progetto The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” International seminar: Sicily through foreign eyes: travelling architects. La Sicilia nello sguardo degli altri: architetti in viaggio. Università degli studi di Catania, Dipartimento di Architettura, Siracusa, May 18-19.

2017: Paola Vitolo “Il Medioevo, il paesaggio, le città: evocazione, interpretazione, documentazione. Il progetto The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database,” 8th AISU Congress (Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana – Italian Association of Urban History), La città, il viaggio, il turismo. Percezione, produzione e trasformazione. Napoli, September 7-9.

 

Reviews

https://arlisna.org/publications/multimedia-technology-reviews/1155-the-medieval-kingdom-of-sicily-image-database

https://maryjahariscenter.org/resources/the-medieval-kingdom-of-sicily-image-database

ICMA Newsletter, Summer 2017, nr 2 (see attached file)

 

Grants and Awards

1. National Endowment for the Humanities, Collaborative Research Grant, 2011-2014.

2. The International Center of Medieval Art. http://www.medievalart.org/icma-news/2018/6/29/the-icma-announces-grant-recipients-from-the-recent-call-for-proposals

 


News & Events

ARLIS/NA Reviews Kingdom of Sicily Database

Kingdom of Sicily Image Database Launches!