The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database

Caroline Bruzelius, Paola Vitolo

William BroomMichael O’SullivanJohn Taormina, David Tremmel, Joseph Williams

2011 - present

Project Website

This project is directed by Co-Pi’s: Caroline Bruzelius and Paola Vitolo; Project Manager: Joseph Williams; Data Manager and Data and Web Developer: David Tremmel; Project Co-Ordinator: William Broom; Research Collaborator: Francesco Gangemi; Metadata and Image Consultant: John Taormina; Web and Visualization Consultant: Hannah Jacobs; Geospatial Consultant: Brian Norberg; Affiliate Collaborator: Michael O’Sullivan and Student Researcher: Jessica Williams.

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.


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.