Produced by Robert W. Allison
Assoc. Prof of Religion, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine

Research Fellow Ektaktikos of the
Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, Thessaloniki
© 1996 Robert W. Allison. All rights reserved.

Go directly to: | The Full Search Form | The Short Search Form |

How to Search for Matching Papers & Watermarks

The Search Forms for the Watermark Archive enable you to search in all of the Archive's databases for papers that match those you have discovered in your work with medieval and renaissance manuscripts. The database contains only records of papers which have been found in Greek manuscripts.

Two search forms are available:

The Full Search Form with explanations
This form gives instructions on how to enter search criteria and indications about which criteria are most useful for searching)

The Short Search Form
This form, for experts and persons making multiple searches, eliminates instructions; it gives only the search categories and blanks in which search criteria are entered
In both Search Forms you are cued for descriptions of the paper that you are researching. You are asked to select or enter appropriate descriptors in the boxes there provided. These boxes correspond to fields in the Database of Paper Descriptions. When you have completed describing the paper, you initiate the search by clicking on the "search the watermark archive" button at the end of the form. The search looks for matches between the boxes which you have filled in and the corresponding fields in the Database of Paper Descriptions. (See Introduction to the Database of Paper Descriptions.)
Future Goal:
If you specify a watermark name on the Search Form, the search will also check the indexed watermarks in the Bibliographical Database. (See Introduction to the Bibliographical Database).

Note about searches based on descriptive terminology.
The descriptors in the Search Form correspond to the standard terminology used in the Database of Paper Descriptions in this Archive. This terminology was developed for the sake of consistency precisely in order to facilitate searches. You may review the rationale for this system and the meanings of these terms in the Introduction to the Database of Paper Descriptions.

Note about searches based on measurements (Paper Description, boxes 3-4).
Measurements of watermarks and of chain and wire lines are subject to variation because

  • the spacing & alignment of wires in the paper molds are affected by the wear and tear in the course of papermaking
  • so are the shape and proportions of watermarks
  • measurements across the gutter of a codex are usually only estimates
  • measurements may be inexact when watermarks are very faint or affected by such problems as waterstains

If you are searching by dimensions, then, you might want to try repeating the search with slightly larger and/or smaller numbers. The same applies to dates.

Future Goal: This search tool will eventually be programmed to find papers whose measurements of watermarks and of chain and wire lines are somewhat greater or smaller than the dimension which you enter in the search form. Until we are able to upgrade the search function, however, only exact numbers can be found.

Responses to Queries. If your search succeeds in finding papers in the Watermark Archive which correspond to the descriptors which you entered on the search form, you will get a screen printout giving you a list of those potential paper matches. Each item in the list will be a link to the corresponding paper description in the database ofpaper descriptions. Each description includes a link, in turn, to the watermark and/or countermark image(s).

The papers will be listed in this printout in order of the percentage of criteria which were found to match what you specified in the search form. Thus, the best strategy in searching is to specify in the search form only a limited number of the most significant criteria of the paper for which you are seeking matches.

Future Goal: When the search functions are fully developed, you will also receive a listing of any watermarks in The Bibliographical Database which correspond to your query.. At the present time, however, that Database and the related search function have not been developed.

NOTE about paper identifications. Papers are identified by the official identification of the manuscript (place name, library name, collection name (if appropriate), shelf number) and a suffix which is the paper reference number. For example, the manuscript identified as

Athos, Philotheou 25,2a

is paper 2a in codex 25 of the Philotheou Monastery library on Mt. Athos.

| View a Sample Search Result |

You may click on any paper listed in the printout to view the full description of that paper. The descriptions include the official identification of the paper, the description of the paper, links enabling you to view the watermark and/or countermark images, identification of scribe(s) and place of production of the manuscript (if known), and credit to the person who discovered it and published it in this archive. The descriptions will also give you an indication of where the paper occurs in the codex, when that information is known.

[Home Page] [Overview] [Guide to the Watermark Archive] [Responses] [The Colophon (credits)]
[watermark search tool]

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Created by Robert W. Allison
Dept. of Philosophy & Religion, Bates College
Lewiston, Maine 04240

Updated September 28, 1996

© 1996 Robert W. Allison. All rights reserved.

URL: http://abacus.bates.edu/Faculty/wmarchive/QueryInfo.html