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Coats of Arms of Florentine families, churches, confraternities and hospitals

The database contains hand-drawn images of more than 2,800 coats of arms belonging to Florentine families, churches, confraternities, and hospitals, which are housed in the library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, Max-Planck-Institut.

The purpose of this database is to assist art historians and scholars of related disciplines regarding the attribution of coats of arms and similar questions. Searching the database allows access to the digitized master image, as well as the textual description of the coat of arms in accordance with international standards of heraldry.

The search engine is based on the German language and offers various search options: from quick search (e.g. for names and elements of coats of arms), to advanced search mode in single indexes, to navigating within image categories offered in three languages.

In addition, an image-based search for similar and related coats of arms (either the entire image or single elements) can be carried out through an external module linked to this database.

This feature is an experimental digital identification process designed by our project partners at the Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione "A. Faedo" in Pisa. However, the results do not yet achieve the accuracy of a verbal search and can only generate an approximate value on the basis of a surface analysis of the images.

The technical description of the coats of arms has been carried out under the supervision of Dr. Harald Drös, director of the Deutsche Inschriften des Mittelalters research centre at the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities).
Since 2010 the project is supported by Dott.ssa Laura Cirri, Florentine heraldry expert and member of the Académie Internationale d'Héraldique.

The project partners:

 Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz


Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI)       Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften

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