Austrian Academy of Sciences


Austrian Academy of Sciences

Since 1999 the Institute of Medieval Studies, Department of Books and Writing (ASBW, the former Commission for Medieval Books and Writing) of the ÖAW has been offering a research tool for medieval watermarks ("WZMA - Wasserzeichen des Mittelalters") which along with the pictorial representation contains essential information regarding relationships between watermarks as well as with carrier manuscripts and archives. Alois Haidinger’s concept for registering and administering watermarks and their metadata has been realized in the software called "watermark toolkit" in collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow by Victor Karnaukhov from the Institute for Problems of Data Transmission.

This software and its implicit methodology underlie the detection module adapted by Victor Karnaukhov for the requirements of a decentralized and enlarged data input system "watermark studio" within the framework of the WZIS and in collaboration with the Department of Books and Writing (ASBW). Supporting the functional expansion of the software, cooperating in testing series and training project partners are all part of the responsibilities of the ASBW.

It was possible to render usable the existing online-versions of the ASBW of the printed inventories of Piccard (PPO - Printed Piccard Online), as well as the repertory of Charles M. Briquet (BO - Briquet Online); furthermore the equally important preliminary studies for the comparative evaluation of Piccard-Online with the Piccard-Inventories.

The ASBW has a significant share in developing and maintaining the common classification and in implementing a multilingual version, drawing largely on results gained in the BERNSTEIN project assigned the ASBW by the European Union. Icons for visualizing the classification have also been developed by the ASBW. Once completed, this structure will be equally applied by both WZMA and Bernstein.


Dr. Maria Stieglecker
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Institut für Mittelalterforschung
Abteilung Schrift- und Buchwesen
Wohllebengasse 12-14 / 5. Stock
A-1040 Wien