Founded in 1952, the international CORPUS VITREARUM was the first research enterprise of art history to be formed at an international level. It was placed under the patronage of the Comité International d'Histoire de I'Art (CIHA), the UNESCO and the Union Académique International (UAI). Its goal is to support the totality of research work, the edition of all medieval stained glass in one complete work, and scientific exchanges across national borders. Today, the CVMA has thirteen member countries in Europe, the United States, and Canada, united in the International Board. Since 1975, the Research Center in Freiburg has been placed under the administrative authority of the "Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz". The Center has a specialized library containing a great number of books on medieval stained glass and photo archives with approximately 33.000 large-sized black and white negatives and 60.000 color transparencies of stained glass located in Germany and parts of France (Alsace and Lorraine).
At present, the Research Center's team is comprised of four art historians, a photographer, a draughtsman, and a secretary.