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Downloading the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft

Having had some success with the Gelre armorial, I thought I’d take a stab at extracting another renaissance-era armorial that is only available through a “click to pan and zoom” web interface: the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft, painted by Vigil (sometimes spelled Virgil) Raber around 1550 in Tyrol, on the border between northern Italy and western Austria.

To run the below Perl script you will need the ImageMagick tools, which provide the montage command that stitches image tiles together. Mac users can install ImageMagick using the following commands:

# Install Homebrew
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

# Install Dependencies
brew install imagemagick

This quick-and-dirty Perl script works through the 462 pages of the book, fetching each of the 64 image tiles needed to assemble that page.


my $base_url = 'http://bilderserver.at/wappenbuecher/VirgilRaberEXAv2_52z2/img';

foreach ( 1 .. 462 ) {
    my $page = sprintf( "%04d", $) );
    foreach ( 0 .. 63 ) {
        my $tile = sprintf( "%02d", $_ );
        qx{ curl -o page_$page-tile_$tile.jpeg $base_url/$page/__00000$tile.jpg };
    qx{ montage page_$page-tile_*.jpeg -geometry +0+0 -tile 8x8 page_$page.jpeg };
    qx{ rm page_$page-tile_*.jpeg };

The result is a folder full of JPEGs, each 7.7 megapixels covering two pages, averaging 2.3 MB each, which I then assembled into a single 1.1 GB PDF file.

As with the Gelre armorial, I am making a lower-quality version of this file available, which has been compressed to a mere 21 MB, which is somewhat fuzzy but sufficient to scroll through to locate interesting items to view in greater detail via the online viewer.

If you’d like a more-detailed version in either PDF or JPEG format, and are not able to run the above script yourself, contact me for a copy.

[Update, November 2022:] I’ve uploaded this book to archive.org where it can be browsed or downloaded as a PDF or a ZIP of image files

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