Information on this class designation was originally derived from an okudagram described as a starship mission status that was displayed in the observation lounge starting around TNG Season 4 and was originally described in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. The Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 215) stated that the class was "named for the period in European history when civilization as we know it had a dramatic rebirth, or renaissance."
According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (p. 174), the USS Hokkaido (β), launched in 2337, was the last starship of this class to be built; it was also the first to receive the ASRV upgrades.
The Renaissance-class was first depicted in the DC Comics Star Trek: The Next Generation Volume 2 issues 77 and 78 as a combination of a saucer section reminiscent of the refit-Constitution-class design, equipped with Galaxy-class type large phaser arrays, Intrepid-class style secondary hull, with the warp nacelles fixed to the side positions even during warp flight. Additionally, the nacelles had Galaxy-class style Bussard collectors.