The Bernstein Consortium - The Memory of Papers. Image Based Paper Expertise and History
manuscript, watermark, fourier transform, integrated circuits


Planned: 7th internation conference on watermarks in digital collections (Bernstein meeting) in Verona (Italy), September 6-8, 2023 Program

main result

Bernstein portal ( with 55 watermark collections and more than 322,000 watermarks (April 2023) from 24 countries.
The portal supports 10 languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Greek, and Dutch.


> Bernstein book (Spanish, 165 pages), 2011
> Bernstein portal, March 2009 with 4 databases
> Bernstein book (English, German, 128 pages), 2009
> Final Project Report, March 2009

> Final Meeting, and Bernstein Symposium Vienna, February 2009
> Second Annual Meeting, Stuttgart, July 2008
100th anniversary of the publication of Briquet's main work: Les Filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dès leurs apparition vers jusqu'en 1600. Paris etc. 1907.


> 6th internation conference (Bernstein meeting) in Fabriano (Italy), May 2022, Conference Website.   Video.
> 5th international conference on watermarks in digital collections (Bernstein meeting) in Cork, Ireland October 16 - 18, 2019. Conference Website.
>Preceding Conferences.

Exhibition catalog cover > Exhibitions 2009-2016: Bergisch-Gladbach (2009), Vercelli (2011), Varallo (2012), Horn (2012), Baden bei Wien (2013), Steyrermühl (2014), St. Pölten (2016)

> Exhibition: "La testa di bue e sirena", April 30 - June 27, 2009, Biblioteca Nazionale, Torino, Italy [Catalog]
> Exhibition: "Una firma nell'acqua. La memoria della carta e delle filigrane dal Medioevo all'eta moderna", October 28 - December 31, 2008, Castello Sforzesco, Sala del Tesoro della Trivulziana, Milano, Italy [Catalog]
> Exhibition: "La testa di bue e la sirena. La memoria della carta e delle filigrane dal medioevo al seicento", September 8-October 10, 2007, Istituto centrale di patologia del libro, Rome, Italy [Catalog]


Here are all the documents (contracts, deliverables, reports) and further project information:
> Project development site (TWiki)

> Databases connected with Bernstein (selection)

FILHISP - Filigranas Hispánicas
NIKI's International Database of Watermarks and Paper used for Prints and Drawings (c. 1450-1800)
WIES - Watermarks in Incunabula printed in España
WILC - Watermarks in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries
WZIS (including Piccard-Online plus watermarks from the German manuscript centers)
WZMA - Watermarks of the Middle-Ages (Austrian, 14th-16th c.)
Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive (T. L. Gravell watermark collection and unpubl. watermarks from the Briquet archive)
Catalogues: Briquet, Heitz, Likhachev, Mazzoldi, Piccard (in WZIS), Wittek, Mosin, Stankovich.

> Cartography

Georeferences datasets & tools

> Image processing

AD751 for laid lines density measurement
Rembrandt matching papers by sieve structure

> Paper

Known paper databases
Digitization costs

> Collaborations (selection)

International Paper Historians Association (IPH)
Consortium of European Research Libraires
Archiv der Erzdiözese Salzburg, Austria
Institut Valenciŕ de Conservació i Restauració de Béns Culturals, Spain
Generalitat de Catalunya, Department de Cultura, Barcelona, Spain
Museo del Tesoro del Duomo, Vercelli, Italy
State Historical Museum of Russia, Moscow, Russia
Archives de la Ville de Luxembourg

The Bernstein Consortium produces a digital infrastructure for the expertise and history of paper based on images visualizing the paper's structure. The individual ressources are databases of watermarks and other anotated features, image measurement software, contextual resources for cartography and bibliography, and an integrated workspace. Additionnaly the Consortium organizes tutorials and an exhibition on paper studies.

EU flagThe Bernstein project was co-funded by the European Commission, eContentplus program, from September 2006 to February 2009.


The Consortium consists from the following partners:
> Austrian Academy of Sciences , Vienna, Austria [ coordinator ]
> Archives of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
> Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
> National Center for Scientific Research / University Paris 1, Paris, France
> German National Library, Leipzig, Germany
> Dutch University Institute for Art History Florence, Florence, Italy
> Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
> Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Netherlands
> University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom


Read a short presentation of the project, distribute to interested parties a color folder (English, German, Italian) or download the poster (English, German, Italian).

Project folder

It is possible to take a look at our ongoing activities: enter the TWiki development site.


Wonder why we're called "Bernstein"? Find out about our name and visual identity here.


Emanuel Wenger - Project coordinator
Institute for Medieval Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Hollandstraße 11+13, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43 1 515 81 7264

Last change: 2023.08.01