Mission Statement

The Media Center for Art History supports faculty research and student learning through innovative technologies. In collaboration with faculty principal investigators, the Media Center develops and supports fieldwork and research projects documenting, presenting, and interpreting works of art, architecture, and cultural heritage sites.

Our goal is to advance the digital humanities and reinforce Columbia University's historic strengths in undergraduate education and graduate student training. As part of the Department of Art History and Archaeology, the Media Center’s specialized personnel and facilities serve the closely related fields of archaeology, art history, and architectural history.


Mailing Address

Department of Art History and Archaeology
824 Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10027

Contact Info

Email: mediacenter@columbia.edu
Phone: (212) 854-3044
Fax: (212) 854-7329



Stefaan Van Liefferinge, Director of the Media Center

Stefaan Van Liefferinge's research combines science, technology, and architectural history. He is especially interested in scientific and technological developments in Artificial Intelligence that impact research in architectural history.

Before becoming the Director of the Media Center, Van Liefferinge taught medieval art and architecture at The University of Georgia and was the principal investigator of a federally funded research project involving artificial intelligence. His doctoral dissertation investigated medieval mathematical knowledge in relationship to the design of the Gothic choir of the cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris. His research has been published in journals on architectural history and in proceedings of conferences in computer science. In addition to his PhD, Van Liefferinge possesses a BS in physics and an MS in computer science. He worked in the computer and software industry as a software developer and project manager.

Selected Publications

"The Geometry of Rib Vaulting at Notre-Dame of Paris: Architectural or Exegetical Space?" In Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies, edited by M. Cohen and F. Madeline. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014.

Van Liefferinge, Stefaan, Rebecca A. Smith, Tyler Carlson, Elijah Holt, Michael A. Covington, Walter D. Potter. "The ARC Project: Reasoning about Representations of Gothic Cathedrals with Artificial Intelligence." In 16th International Conference on Information Visualisation (IV), eds. E. Banissi et al., 599-601. IEEE Computer Society CPS, 2012.

"The Hemicycle of Notre-Dame of Paris: Gothic Design and Geometrical Knowledge in the Twelfth Century." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 490–507.

Gabriel Rodriguez, Manager of Collections and Special Projects

Gabriel Rodriguez is currently the Manager of Collections and Special Projects at the Media Center for Art History at Columbia University, having previously held the positions of Digital Curator/Coordinator of Special Projects and Assistant Curator. His background is in art and architectural history, with a BA in Art History from Columbia. 

In addition to stewarding the digital and physical collections of the Media Center, Gabriel has also worked on fieldwork projects as an architectural and panoramic photography specialist, documenting sites of art historical significance around the world. His work with diverse image collections, both at Columbia and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has fostered a general interest in the uses of imaging for teaching and experiencing art in all forms. He is proficient in digital photography, image management, cataloging and metadata standards as well as imaging software.

Tim Trombley, Senior Educational Technologist

Tim received his MA in Art History from Columbia with a thesis that used 3D modeling and global illumination technologies to examine the lighting conditions of Ancient Greek domestic interiors at the city of Olynthus. During his time as a student at Columbia, Tim worked in the Media Center and was delighted to become part of the full-time staff upon graduation. He is passionate about the use of new technologies within the humanities and is excited to be a part of the Media Center's future projects.

Lisa Peck, Assistant Curator

Lisa has an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, focusing in Archives and Conservation & Digital Curation in addition to a BA in Art History with a Museum Studies concentration from Ithaca College. She is interested broadly in material and digital preservation, open access, metadata, and digital humanities in cultural heritage.

Elle Gillette, Associate Educational Technologist

Elle is a multimedia artist based in New York. She holds her BA in Animation from the University of the West of England and an MFA in Integrated Practices from Pratt Institute. She is interested in preserving analog tools and processes in a world that is becoming increasingly digital. As an artist she works from printmaking, installation, video, to sound, code, and digital media.