The image database was conceived in 2008 by Caroline Bruzelius (Duke University) with William Tronzo (UC, San Diego), and in 2011 was awarded a three-year Collaborative Research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The project design staff created the database at Duke University starting in 2011, with Paola Vitolo (previously the University of Catania, presently the University of Naples Federico II) as Project Manager. The NEH funds also supported four Italian post-doctoral researchers, whose many contributions enabled the website to become available to the public in 2016. Duke University has contributed support staff, database and website programming, and data storage for the project. The database and website are hosted and managed by Trinity Technology Services at Duke University, to which we are indebted for their support.
The database uses the cataloging guidelines developed for the photographic archive of the Society of Architectural Historians, SAHARA, and the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus for questions regarding art historical terminology. Our categories are based on the VRA and Dublin core.