"Coding" Historical Papers Online Workshop

User menu

Monday, 1 March, 2021 to Friday, 5 March, 2021

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation presents "Coding" Historical Papers: Identifying Sameness and Difference in Watermarks, Chain Lines, and Laid Lines , led by Margaret Holben Ellis, C. Richard Johnson, Jr, and William Sethares. This online workshop includes live sessions on March 1, 3, and 5, 2021 at 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST.

Every sheet of historical pre-machine-made paper displays physical evidence of the "mold" that was used to form it. Being entirely handcrafted, every mold was unique. While at first, two molds might appear identical, subtle differences exist in the details of the watermarks, the intervals between chain wires, and the densities of the laid wires per inch/centimeter. Every sheet of paper formed from a given mold will replicate these three features; two papers formed from the same mold are called "moldmates." Conservators, art historians, and codicologists have long studied watermarks and, to a lesser extent, chain line intervals, in an attempt to identify moldmates, which can suggest chronology, original collation, and geographic origin. Laid line density patterns have never been systematically recorded and studied.

The computational characterization of related historical papers results in the accurate identification of moldmates and, when found in sequence with other moldmates, potential twins. Participants will be introduced to how the physical properties of papers can be "coded" by using software to mark, measure, compare, and validate moldmate matches. Participants will learn how to produce animated overlays that dramatically differentiate subtle differences in watermarks.

The registration fee is $199 for AIC members, and $249 for non-members. Registration is limited. Further details can be found at https://learning.culturalheritage.org/p/Coding-Historical-Papers