The Michigan Stained Glass Census (MSGC), which began in 1992, is an on-going statewide survey of architectural stained glass. Using MSGC forms developed at MSU, citizen-scholars (or “volunteer census takers”) photograph and record information about architectural stained glass windows, the artists who made them, and the buildings in which the windows are located. The data in these census reports are then made digitally accessible through the Michigan Stained Glass Census digital humanities project at MSU’s Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences. The physical collections (tools, bulletins for church services held to dedicate the windows, and church histories, artist drawings, etc.) associated with the Michigan Stained Glass Census are housed at the Michigan State University Museum.
By researching and recording information about the origins, styles, and subject matter of architectural stained glass, the Census is creating an invaluable resource of visual and documentary material related to Michigan's social, religious, and art history. The Census is also encouraging individuals and groups to better appreciate and preserve the stained glass treasures in their own communities.