Hildesheim, Germany

An Iconographical Index of Baptismal Fonts


Baptisteria Sacra Index (BSI) is an international iconographical index of baptismal fonts with photographs of their settings from the early Christian period to the seventeenth century for scholarly research. BSI is affiliated with the Digital Humanities Network at the University of Toronto in Canada.

The BSI digital humanities research project is a permanent work-in-progress. The BSI project researches, collects and catalogues information on individual baptismal fonts and their liturgical settings. We aim to complete the following information for each font registered in BSI: date of font (year, century, style or period), geographic location, church (GIS location), medium, dimensions, workshop or artist, cognate fonts, pictorial subjects and decorative motifs, location codes of placement of motifs/subjects, inscriptions (language, location, text, source), drainage systems, lids (date of lid, apparatus, medium) and published scholarship on each font.

As of February 2024 the BSI database has documented:

  • Font Records: 26,000 +
  • Digital Images: 122,000 + (fonts, settings and contexts, churches (exterior and interior))
  • Inscriptions: 1,750+ (Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English, Old English, Flemish, French and Norman-French, Greek, Gaelic, Old German, Old Armenian, Italian, Latin, Runes, Spanish, Swedish, Nahuatl glyph, )
  • Bibliographic references about fonts: 3,460+

Copyright Information and Use of Site

Baptisteria Sacra Index, known also as BSI or Baptisteria Sacra, means the compilation of BSI or Baptisteria Sacra Records and any materials contained therein. BSI records means the catalogue records and all multi-media documentation of baptismal fonts in the Baptisteria Sacra Index.

All works contained therein, and other materials related to the BSI project are protected under Canadian and international copyright laws and other applicable intellectual property and proprietary information legislation. Publication and distribution of works in BSI, including scholarly publication and posting materials on public access web sites is not permitted without the expressed consent of copyright owners.

We are grateful to the Digital Humanities Network at the University of Toronto for their support and permission to include the DHN acronym in the domain name for the BSI website granted March  2021. This website is supported by assistance from the Academic & Collaborative Technology (ACT) at the University of Toronto.

Digital Humanities Network