Project Information


The Directors, Harriet Sonne de Torrens and Miguel A. Torrens, commenced research for the BSI digital humanities project in 1997. Continuous fonting trips, on-site examinations of works and an extensive international network of fonters has enabled BSI to compile the only existing iconographic inventory of baptismal fonts from the Early Christian period to the seventeenth century in the world.

BSI has facilitated collaborative research and numerous projects with colleagues. Researchers can make requests for information or research assistance by contacting the directors at

BSI has sponsored sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University, USA, such as Baptismal Fonts: Fonts, Rituals and Settings (2006) and Baptismal Fonts: Current Scholarship (2005) and subsequent sessions at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds University since 2000.


An undertaking of this magnitude owes much to the pioneer labours of earlier fonters, art historians, archaeologists, researchers and enthusiastic aficionados who, with their passion for ‘fonting,’ have created the knowledge base upon which this project stands.

The BSI project benefits from, and encourages the contribution of many individuals at different levels, from the church warden who sends the particulars of his/her font to the dedicated scholar or the avid ‘fonter’ who shares the product of years of labour. There are far too many to be listed in this preliminary introduction, instead, their names appear in the font records themselves, clearly identified as sources of the material they contributed. To all of them our sincere gratitude.


We are seeking international sponsorship and institutional collaboration for the BSI project to release the full database to academic communities. If you are interested in supporting or hearing more about this project please contact us