PV1B131 Filigranology

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 2 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Taught partially online.
Mgr. Alžbeta Zavřelová (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Alžbeta Zavřelová
Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Olga Barová
Supplier department: Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Thu 18:00–19:40 B2.11
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! PV1A254 Filigranology
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 10 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 4/10, only registered: 0/10, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/10
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 6 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course includes a theoretical examination of the origins of European paper and its importance in Medieval society in terms of education as well as trade relations. Paper contained so-called watermarks which marked the provenance (workshop/master) and the properties of the paper, and were a kind of “trademark” for the manufacturer as well as the customer. They can be a central decodifying sign and a critical source, reflecting historical and territorial customs, and they can tell us about trade and mobility during different ages. The course presents traditional as well as innovative methods for recording watermarks using electromagnetic devices (X-ray, ß-radiography, IR-thermography). There is also a workshop on the manufacture of paper, where students will have the opportunity to make their own paper with a watermark.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will be familiar with the concept of watermarks, thanks to which it is possible to trace the origin of paper. The workshop will demonstrate the issues associated with its production and use in practice. They will also learn how to distinguish watermarks from the perspective of the type, chronology and provenance, based on practical exercises with digital reproductions where they will work with online databases (Briquet, Piccard, Bernstein).
  • Origin and production of “European” paper, important European and Czech paper mills;
  • Specific marks created during the production of paper;
  • Watermarks – characteristics, uses;
  • Technical processes, the composition and description of watermarks;
  • The study of watermarks; important international projects and databases;
  • Methods for documenting and digitalizing watermarks;
  • Practical exercises, projects, workshop.
  • BOFARULL Y SANS, F. Animals in watermarks, Paper Publ. Society, 1959
  • BOUYER, Ch. L'histoire du papier, Brepols, 1994
  • CARREIRA, G. Historia del papel en España, Lugo, 2006
  • CHURCHILL, W. Watermarks in paper: in Holland, England, France, etc., in the XVII and XVIII centuries and their interconnection, De Graaf, 1990
  • DECKER, V. Filigrány zo slovenských ručných papierní, Banská Bystrica, 1978
  • EINEDER, G. The ancient paper-mills of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and their watermarks, Paper Publ. Society, 1960
  • HILLS, R. L. Papermaking in Britain 1488-1988: a short history, London, 1988
  • HUNTER, D. Papermaking: the history and technique of an ancient craft, New York, 1987
  • LOEBER, E. Paper mould and mouldmaker, Paper Publ. Society, 1982
  • LABARRE, E. Dictionary and Encyclopædia of Paper and Paper-making: With Equivalents of the Technical Terms in French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish & Swedish, Swets & Zeitlinger, 1969
  • MOSSER, D. Puzzles in paper: concepts in historical watermarks, British Library, 2000
  • RÜCKERT, P. Bull's head and mermaid: the history of paper and watermarks from the Middle Ages to the Modern Period, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2009
  • RÜCKERT, P. Wasserzeichen des Mittelalters: Ochsenkopf und Meerjungfrau, Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, 2006
  • SZIRMAI, J. The archaeology of medieval bookbinding, Ashgate, 1999
  • TOALE, B. The art of papermaking, Mass. Davis, 1993
  • Looking at paper: evidence & interpretation: symposium proceedings, Toronto 1999, Ottawa, 2001
Teaching methods
Lectures, seminar. The teaching takes the form of interactive presentations and practical exercises using the e-learning system (Elf).
Assessment methods
Conditions for the successful completion of the course are participation at the lessons (at least 70%), devising a project focusing on the identification of watermarks, and a final test.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Information on course enrolment limitations: Kurz se bude konat pokud budou zapsáni minimálně 4 studenti.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2022/PV1B131