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About This Project

Color images of the icons at the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai

The color transparencies and slides stored at Princeton University are part of the total documentation that was produced by the Michigan-Princeton-Alexandria Expeditions to Sinai in 1956, 1958, 1960, 1963, and 1965. These images document the icons at Sinai. The remainder of the photographic archive is stored at the University of Michigan.

These images are available as 1024 pixel jpegs. This website displays the scans of the 5 × 7 inch Ektachrome transparencies and the 35mm slides from the series of expeditions. In total, there are 1,249 5 × 7 inch Ektachome transparencies and 1,995 35mm slides.

Please note that these images are provided without any image manipulation (including image sharpening). The only editing applied to these images has been rotating and cropping.

Where images contain a color reference card, it has been included. 

Searching or browsing this collection

Within this collection, the ‘Identifier’ is a unique reference number belonging to each image. Each image also has a ‘Source’ number—this refers to the work, or icon, the image depicts. When you select an image from a work you can see the 'Identifier' number in the URL of the image—it is the number directly before the '.jpeg'. Some icons were photographed multiple times (and you may see duplicate images) while for other icons there are no images of the complete icon.

Other fields:

Is Referenced By (Michigan Icon Inventory numbers): this is the number assigned to each icon in the Michigan inventory. In reviewing this data, some of these images have been found to be wrongly attributed to certain works and these are being corrected.

Title: This has been assigned either by transferring a title from the Michigan inventory or by one of our scholars. These are preliminary titles meant to assist in referencing the works.

Physical Dimensions: Where dimensions were recorded and are known, they have been entered.

Alternative Title: This is the ‘Verso Title’: when a work clearly has a recto and verso, the verso title has been noted. There may be works that have not yet been identified as recto and verso.

Language: Where an inscription is legible, that information has been transcribed by scholars and displayed. We welcome any help in identifying and translating inscriptions.

Date: The creation dates of the icons, when noted in the archive, have been added. These may be broad temporal ranges.


Many thanks to the following from Trudy Jacoby, director, Visual Resources Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology:
All personnel are at Princeton University unless otherwise noted.

Funding and support

Project funded by a David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Grant from the Princeton University Council of the Humanities
Additional support received from the Index of Christian Art


Digitization of 5 × 7 Ektachrome transparencies: Michael Bucher, digital imaging technician, Firestone Library
Digitization of 35mm slides: John Blazejewski, photographer, Visual Resources Collection and Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology

Digital image processing assistance

Julia Gearhart, image cataloguer & support specialist, Visual Resources Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology
Marilyn Hansen, media specialist and image technician, Visual Resources Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology

Data and research

Megan Garedakis, graduate student, CUNY Graduate Center, New York
Katherine King, graduate student, Department of Art and Archaeology
Henry Schilb, reader, Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology

Omeka site development

Julie Angarone, departmental computing support specialist, Department of Art and Archaeology
Julia Gearhart, image cataloguer & support specialist, Department of Art and Archaeology

University of Michigan, Department of the History of Art

Cathy Pense, Head, Visual Resources Collections
Gertraud Reynolds, Sinai Archives, Visual Resources Collections
Ilene Forsyth, Professor Emerita, Department of the History of Art