Narzędzia cyfrowe w ekspertyzie odbitek graficznych: zrealizowane projekty oraz możliwości ich rozwinięcia na potrzeby studiów wizualnych


The present article discusses the strategy of designing the applications used to analyse old paper. It summarises the present state of arranging the material and compares the projects that have been realised. It also provides the assessment of the possibilities to develop these kinds of tools for the needs of visual studies. The solutions presented in the conclusion are connected with the work the author of this text does in the Print Room of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Scientific Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cracow, in co-operation with Dr Joanna Gancarczyk from the University of Bielsko-Biała. Modern design of the digital tools used in studies of paper is most often connected with the development of new repositories which document individual examples of the watermarks or the structures of the screens. That was the objective of the pioneering project realised in the mid 90s of the 20th century at the University of Geneva (C. Graham, Rauber, T. Pun, P. Tschudin). The construction of a spe- cialised database was to complete SHREW (Shape Retrieval of Watermarks) in the years 2000–2002 (K. J. Riley, J. P. Eakins). Both projects were stopped after 2005. Nowadays, the Bernstein Consortium, established in 2006, operates according to similar rules (E. Wenger et al.). According to the designers of modern applications used in the paper analyses, the technique of comparing the shapes of a watermark is still waiting for a satisfying solution. Taking into consideration previous experiences, while creating new programmes we should give up the urge to entirely automatise the results of our work. The tools used in visual studies can be based on half – automatic methods, leaving the decision on how to interpret the results to the researchers. Such an assumption will broaden the possibilities in the choice of a method used to search for and analyse a given shape. Watermarks can combine the studies of paper with the systemising our knowledge of trademarks, house marks and monograms. With the present state of the network database development, the next applications comparing their shapes can work independently from their repositories. The programmes can be used to “mark” the images; it is enough to record the results of the measurements in the form of metadata. The application reduced to a role of a front – end, co-operating with any internet search engine will make it easier to put together the collections published on the Internet.