Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain

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Corpus Vitrearum Newsletter and Abstracts

Between 1972 and 2001, the Corpus Vitrearum/Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi published a total of 41 Newsletters, seven of which were double issues, making the last one no. 48. From issue 27, the series has the ISSN 0308-2237. Copies of nos. 47 and 48 are still available from the Centre Suisse de recherche et d’information sur le vitrail, Romont (now Vitrocentre Romont).

Newsletters 1–16 were published on behalf of the technical subcommittee of the British CVMA, and 17 onwards on behalf of the international technical committee of the Corpus Vitrearum. According to a letter from Roy Newton found with one of the incomplete runs of the Newsletter in the British Library, it had been intended that no. 25 would be the last issue to be published in York before responsibility for publication was transferred to ICCROM; delays in establishing the necessary editorial committee however meant that no. 26 was also published from York. Responsibility for publication subsequently passed to the Centre International du Vitrail in Chartres, for issues 41/42 and 43/44, and to the Centre Suisse de recherche et d’information sur le vitrail, for issues 45–48. Full details are given in a separate document.

Languages of the Newsletter

Until issue 26, the Newsletter was in English; issues 5-25 were translated into German at the expense of ICCROM (see Newsletter 19 (3)).

From issue 26 onwards, the Newsletters appear in a mixture of English, French and German, sometimes with the same article appearing in two languages in the same issue.


CVMA Newsletter 4 contains a ‘fourth bibliography’ of abstracts, numbered 71–127, on the conservation of stained glass. The first had been compiled for the Cathedral Architects’ Conference (13–15 April 1972, abstracts nos. 1–26) by R. Newton, who subsequently drew up two supplements (dated 22 May 1972 (nos. 27–49) and 21 August 1972 (nos. 50-70)). All three bibliographies were issued together as a hand-out at the VIII Colloquium of the CVMA, held in York, Cambridge and Canterbury, 25 September – 1 October 1972. Supplements to these four bibliographies were published in nearly every issue of the Newsletter up to and including 35/36.

The forthcoming publication by the British Academy of the abstracts contained in the first four bibliographies was announced in CVMA Newsletter nos. 4 and 8. The British Academy publication was R. G. Newton, The Deterioration and Conservation of Painted Glass: A Critical Bibliography and Three Research Papers, CVMA (GB), Occasional Paper I, London, 1974. The first four bibliographies in fact contain 128 items (127 numbers, plus 92a) and the Occasional Paper 132 items (129 numbers, plus 14a, 29a, 62a). The abstracts as presented in the British Academy publication are not always identical in form to those found in the Newsletters and are ordered by author, unlike the Newsletter. There are also a few discrepancies between the selection of abstracts contained in the first four bibliographies and Occasional Paper I, as the latter omits a few abstracts found in the former, but includes some items that would appear in the fifth bibliography, and one item not found as an abstract in any of the bibliographies. It was reported in CVMA Newsletter no. 8 that translations into French and German of the introduction to the Occasional Paper were available from Roy Newton, but copies of these have not been traced to date.

Most of the abstracts in Occasional Paper I appeared in revised form with new numbers in a subsequent British Academy publication, together with many abstracts from later Newsletter bibliographies, abstracts of items in the Newsletter itself, and abstracts of further items: R. G. Newton, The Deterioration and Conservation of Painted Glass: A Critical Bibliography, CVMA (GB), Occasional Paper II, London, 1982. Those abstracts that only occur in Occasional Paper II and nowhere else have here been assigned numbers continuing from the end of the existing sequence.

The abstracts are mainly of articles in journals, but also cover patents, unpublished papers, work in progress, private communications, etc. All the abstracts in Newsletters 5–25 were translated into German for the German version of the Newsletter, and some later abstracts are in French or German. A small number of items have no abstract at all but are simply assigned an abstract number. The index presented here only indexes abstracts 1–439, that is, all those that appeared in Newton’s original hand-outs and the Newsletter, but not those that only appeared in Occasional Paper II.

Three articles in German in Newsletter 31/32 were given unnumbered abstracts in English; these are made available here.

In addition to the numbered abstracts, the Newsletter contains the following items

  • eighteen reviews of published items (24, pp. 12–13; 28, pp. 12–13; 29, pp. 32–33; 30, pp. 12–13; 31/32, p. 32; 33/34, p. 27; 43/44 (pp. 2–3); 46, pp. 26–27)
  • summaries of papers given at the 1989 colloquium of the technical committee ‘Verrières extérieures et problèmes de conservation des vitraux’ in Newsletter 45 (July 1994, pp. 40–42, 43–45); some of the papers so summarized appear in full form in the same issue
  • unnumbered ‘References to New Publications’ (issues 33/34, p. 31; 35/36, p. 27; 39/40, p. 2), which do not differ from the numbered abstracts that have no summary
  • ‘Bibliographie sélective et chronologique sur l’altération et la conservation des peintures’ (issue 46, pp. 38–40)

Here you will find links to the full range of CVMA materials, now on the website of the Corpus Vitrearum International; a pdf version of CVMA (GB) Occasional Paper I; and a pdf version of CVMA (GB) Occasional Paper II. If you are unable to download a pdf by left-clicking on the link, please right-click on the link and choose ‘Save Link As’ or ‘Save Target As’.

CVMA (GB), Occasional Paper I

CVMA (GB), Occasional Paper II

The CVMA (GB) is extremely grateful to the Corpus Vitrearum International for the grant that made the work on the Newsletter and abstracts possible, and to the British Academy for permission to make the Occasional Papers available in this form.

Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

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