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44,000+ photographs of pre-1800 stained glass at over 600 locations

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The Secret of the Rose

This resource with around 50,000 photographs has always been free to access - thanks to The Friends and a loan - and currently receives around 5000 visits a day mostly from students and professors around the world.

But there comes a time when a labour of love has to face reality!

After 18 years, an opportunity has arisen to lodge the Archive with the International Corpus Vitrearum to ensure its long-term future. An appeal has been launched to help makje this transfer possible.

Donations will be acknowledged in a List of Contributors (Amici Vitrearum).

If the total sum raised exceeds the target the surplus will be donated to helping rebuild Ukraine and Gaza.


The Appeal is doing well but is still short of the target! Thank you all for your generous contributions.

If you use this website and are not a Friend and have not contributed to the Appeal, please consider contributing something! Every little helps - and helps keep the website free! ___ Become a Friend ___ Appeal

"This is an extraordinarily useful online resource which will be an invaluable teaching aide and a superb visual reference library for anyone and everyone interested in medieval art" _ Prof. Tim Ayres, York University; Vice President, The International Corpus Vitrearum.

"This is an incredibly beautiful and useful site for anyone interested in medieval stained glass, from experts to enthusiasts like me. Thank you for making it possible, it is truly wonderful" _ David Ball, Vice President, The Worshipful Company of Glaziers

"I have just stumbled upon your website of Medieval Stained Glass - It is really wonderful. My wife (an Art Historian) and I have been traveling to France for 25 years and have visited and photographed many of the places on your list. We will use your detailed descriptions to guide us to more places. The pictures are outstanding. Usually stained glass photography leaves a lot to be desired." _ Stan Parry

"Votre site internet est très utilisé, par moi et mes collègues bien sûr, mais j'en fais régulièrement la promotion auprès des étudiants, des architectes, des personnes des Monuments historiques, ou des restaurateurs de vitraux. C'est un outil indispensable pour la recherché et pour la documentation." _ Claudine Lautier, Centre André Chastel, Paris

"I was incredibly impressed by your picture archive" _ Heather Gilderdale , PhD student of Tim Ayers

"It is a wonderful archive that I've found extremely helpful to my research. Naturally it's important for sites I've never seen, but it's been equally useful for places I've been myself, where my own pictures just don't capture all the details I might want to think, write, or teach about later." _ Dr Jessica Berenbeim, Fellow by Examination, Magdalen College, Oxford OX1 4AU

"I was more than pleasantly surprised by the wonderful treasure trove on medieval stained glass pictures online . I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful pictures!!!" _ Suzanne Sauter, Chapel Hill, NC

"Thanks to Mr Cowen's generosity, I am able to illustrate a paper on St Mary's Hall, Coventry, with one of his stunning photographs. This website is a tremendously rich resource, and a great help for scholars researching stained glass." _ Marcus Meer: Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar, Durham University

"Thank you so much for the awesome website of stained glass windows" _ Dawn Zierdt

"Thank you for your wonderful website on cathedrals and their glass" _ Francis Henderson

"First of all I want to congratulate you for the great quality of your website and the many pictures that it contains. I'm a professor of art history at the University of Poitiers and I use it regularly for my research, especially for the chapter I wrote for a collective work on the Cathedral of Poitiers" _ Marcello Angheben, l Université de Poitiers

"Thank you for the wonderful website and your magnificent book, The Rose Window, which is my constant research companion" _ Tomelene Montgomery, Lompoc, California

"I stumbled upon your website today hoping to get a better look at some of the windows of Chartres Cathedral. I can't tell you what a wonderful surprise your site was to find. What a magnificent undertaking and what an unprecedented resource you have put together. I am most impressed. Thank you for your outstanding work and for making it available on the web" _ Reggie Holder, Birmingham, Alabama

"I have recently found your online archive and would like to congratulate you on the wealth of stained glass which is depicted there. It is a most interesting resource"
Dr John F Beal MBE, PhD

"Recently I used your wonderful photographs of the Chapelle du Rosaire (baies 15, 17, 19) of Evreux cathedral" _ Prof. Dr. Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz

"I've just discovered your wonderful Rose Window website and have been enjoying browsing" _ Buff & Hugh Eagle

"Your website archive is admirable ! You did a great work. As I am interested in medieval studies, particularly architecture and stained glass windows" _ Gabrielle de Melo

"I came across your awe-inspiring collection of images of stained glass windows" _ Kristof Viola, Parkstone Int publishers

".. this picture which we know from your beautiful website, which is indeed a real treasure for every researcher on medieval glass painting" _ Christine Hediger, Vitrocentre Romont

"Your photo archive of stained glass windows is truly a remarkable body of work." _ Doug Elliott, editor, Australia

"I've really appreciated your web site. I need an illustration of the medieval part of the window and your image is the best I've seen" _ Prof. Ellen Shortell, Massachusets College of Art & Design

"I am staggered to learn that all the photographs on your website are your own: I had imagined that you must have collected the work of dozens of photographers. This is a tremendous achievement, and I feel privileged that you may wish to include a few of my shots" _ Sir George Pollock

"I recently purchased both of your books about rose windows. The work you have done is truly amazing ... I also saw your website and I am enjoying those pictures also. To see the pictures associated with their positions in their relevant cathedrals is amazing. Thank you so much for your contribution and documentation of this important art" _ Margaret Lerner

"Your stained glass archive site is extremely informative" _ Jeff Gordon

"What a lovely site you are developing! And, believe me, I understand what an undertaking such a thing is" _ Carol Myers, St Nicholas Centre, USA

"I found your wonderful website dedicated to medieval stained glass, and I congratulate you for your dedication to this topic" _ Christina Lazaridas

"I have seen the image on your excellent site!" _ Valerie Ocley, Firbeck Hall

"I have found the link below to be extremely useful in discussing iconography" _ Vivienne Jarvis, Open University

"I am a huge fan of your site "". Thanks to you I spent many enjoyable hours touring European cathedrals and churches. I am a glass artist, but I mostly work in fused glass" _ Sasha Zhitneva, SZd Glass Studio

"First of all, I would like to thank you for posting online the Medieval Stained Glass Photographic Archive. I have found the website extremely useful for my research needs." _ Maria Godlevskaya, University of Poitiers, Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale

"The editors of Gesta like your image so much they want to use it on the back cover of the number" _ Prof. Paul Binski, Cambridge University

"Thank you for your consideration, I greatly admire and appreciate all of your work on the website" _ Robert Neely, Stained Glass Consultant,Maine, USA

"I am writing on behalf of Tim Husband and Mary Shepard. In December 2012 Harvey Miller Publishers will publish Corpus Vitrearum United States of America, Part VI/I, Stained Glass before 1700 in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the book, we would like to reproduce an image contained on your website ." _ Vittoria Vignone, Metropolitan Museum, New York; Cloisters

"I have just been looking at your superb collection of online glass. Brill!" _ Rona Moodie, Expert on Scottish stained glass

"I found your website through the Vidimus website. I found your website very straightforward to use and was able to locate the image very quickly" _ Laura Mothersole, Editorial Assistant, Routledge

"Researching into information on the Sainte Chapelle I found your website, and I had, I HAVE to congratulate you and of course thank you for your excellent, extensive and thorough analysis and job. I have to admit with no remorse at all that I'm deeply impressed ..... I only wanted to express how admirable and hard I think your work is. Go on with it" _ Sergio Villamore

"P.S. Your web site is amazing!" _ Mark Hillebrand, Doctor

"I would like to compliment you on your wonderful and very useful website As a research assistant at Utrecht University I am currently working on detailed descriptions of a number of medieval windows, and the website is of great help to me!" _ Fenna Visser, Utrecht University

"Your website is beautiful! I heard about it from Madeleine Caviness" _ Diane Wolfthal, Dept Art History Rice University, USA

"Keep up the great work on your website!" _ Benjamin Zweig, Boston University

"My students and I are very much enjoying your website. The integration of schematic church plans and windows is really usefull" _ Anna Eavis, English Heritage

" your excellent website '', which I have used several times for my research -- especially the sections on French Renaissance glass, which is not often documented elsewhere _ Dr Berthold Kress, The Warburg Institute

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