The present datasets collection originates in the project Bernstein: The Memory of Paper for image based paper expertise and history.

With more than 7.000 locations originating in seven renowned databases, Bernstein provides the most extensive GIS datasets today for the study of historical paper and watermarks. It also supplies geographical base material for the study of incunabula, as well as other contextual material for Humanities.

While the Bernstein maps are a powerful tool in themselves, their full interest is unlocked when combined with other datasets and subjects beyond paper studies, such as historical trade, idea exchange, politics, cultural variation etc. Users are encouraged to download the datasets provided here and use them in the context of their own studies.

HELP List of other known paper and watermarks collections.

View datasets

You have the choice between making a selection according to your proposed criteria in the Bernstein databases (refered here to as dynamic maps) or use preselected datasets (static maps). You will usaually want to work with both. Static maps from Bernstein give the complete geographical coverage of the source datasets in which the selections were made and so act as references to interpret the sample distributions. For more on how to interpret the maps see *. Additionaly the static maps provide another visualization than points: density maps?. They also offer datasets from other sources than Bernstien. It is intended in future to combine the two map types for representation in a single webpage.

1. Dynamic maps / You have access to an integrated set of databases in which you select data according to your choice and represent it as maps.


Historical Atlas of Paper and Watermarks Content : Places of use of paper documents, i.e. written or printed archive documents, books, etc. Source : Piccard-Online, NIKI, WILC and WZMA (see further down for detailed references) Spatial coverage : Europe (useplaces), World (repositories) Temporal span : 1300-1850, mainly 15th-16th centuries Quantities : c. 120.000 records, c. 7.500 locations Timestamp : 2009.02.28 (last known update of georeferences) Access : > Catalog > Search > Map

* Limitations: The present Bernstein workspace introduces two error types in the dynamic maps it generates:

  1. Multiple places are excluded. This is critical for those sources where such data occurs, i.e. WZMA-U and ISTC-P.
  2. Uncertain locations - marked with an "?" in their placenames - are not recognized as such. The implications are that (1) no quantitative information about them can be provided by the mapping application, the "uncertain" entry in the "Quantities" section will allways be "0"; and (2) placenames will randomly end with an "?".

The solution is to modify the workspace software so that it handles these datatypes. * Here is the logical scheme that has to be implemeted. The mapping application is however correctly processing and representing multiple placenames and uncertain locations.
  1. Georeferences in the databases are as of 2009.02.15. It can be that furtehr records with placenames are added to the databases which are not georeferenced.

2. Static maps / Thematic maps that can be viewed as layers on a map. Contrary to the dynamic maps you can't select parts of the datasets to be displayed, only the datsets as a whole. Data can be displayed as points or as density maps?.


  1. Biraben: [[][event places]] - places where plague epidemics occurred in Europe between 1347-1600. Jean-Noël Biraben, Les Hommes et la peste en France et dans les pays européens et méditerranéens, Paris/La Haye, Mouton/École des hautes Études en sciences sociales, 1975-6.***
  2. Briquet: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers, giving the locations where papers were "used", i.e. inscribed. Charles Moïse Briquet, Les Filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dès leurs apparition vers jusqu'en 1600 [BP], Paris, 1907, 4 vol. ; 2nd edition Leipzig 1923. / C. M. Briquet, Les Filigranes. The New Briquet, Jubilee Edition, Allan Stevenson (ed.), Amsterdam, 1968, 4 vol. /
  3. Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrücke: [[][print places]], [[][repositories]] - quasi complete, extended catalog of existent incunabula copies.
  4. Incunabula Short-Title Catalog: [[][useplaces]] - quasi complete, compact catalog of existent incunabula editions.
  5. International Bibliography of Paper History: [[][print places]] - > Bibliography *
  6. International Database of Watermarks and Paper used for Prints and Drawings: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers),
  7. Likhachev: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers. J.S.G.Simmons, B. van Ginneken-van de Kasteele (ed.), Likhachev's watermarks [LKH], Amsterdam, 1994.
  8. Piccard Findbuch: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers, Gerhard Piccard, Die Wasserzeichenkartei im Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1961-97, 17 vol.
  9. Piccard-Online: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers.
  10. Watermarks in Incunabula printed in España: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of watermarks and papers), Gerard van Thienen, The Hague, Netherlands.
  11. Watermarks in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]]
  12. Wasserzeichen des Mittelalters: [[][useplaces]], [[][repositories]] - repertory of Austrian watermarks and papers), Commission for Writing and Book in the Middle Ages, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

Download datasets

All the georeferences in the datasets described on this page are contained in the [[][Dalek]] file, which is described in the Dalek [[][documentation]].

To download the data of dynamic maps use the "download" link on the right-hand side map pane.

Interface help

A description on what the maps represent and how to interact with them is provided for the dynamic maps? and the static maps?.

Paris, France
Waqwaq - mapping cultural geographies · r3 · 08 Mar 2009 · 22:50:44 · VladAtanasiu
Waqwaq: Mapping cultural geographies ·
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