Cobra A2 at the Fondation Martin Bodmer

Cobra A2
V-shape book scanner
at the Fondation
Martin Bodmer

The Fondation Martin Bodmer was founded in 1971 by the private scholar Martin Bodmer (1899-1971). It manages and expands the unique collection of literature assembled by Bodmer during his lifetime, which includes precious manuscripts, books and documents as well as paintings, sculptures, reliefs and coins.

Since 1951, the collection has been housed in a purpose-built building in Cologny near Geneva. The part that is open to the public as a museum has been housed in an extension designed by Mario Botta since 2003. The exhibition shows a unique range of written testimonies from three millennia. Due to its significant holdings, the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana has been a UNESCO World Documentary Heritage Site since 2015.

“Working with this machine is a real pleasure because it is very easy to use and therefore do not demand large technical skills.”

Jérôme David
Director of Bodmer Lab

The Bodmer Library in numbers




Project background

In 2014, the Bodmer Lab team, led by Professor Jérôme David, began digitizing the holdings of the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana. The Bodmer Lab emerged as a research and digitization project from the partnership between the Faculty of Arts of the University of Geneva and the Martin Bodmer Foundation.

For this extensive project, a book scanner was sought that met the high requirements for gentle and efficient digitization of the precious holdings. The Bodmer Lab team decided on the book2net Cobra A2 V scanner with semirobotics:

“Scanning with the Cobra machine is comfortable and user-friendly and the safety of our precious books is assured because of the stable industrial components. The scanning machine is designed to avoid damage on our precious books and it is really important to us to conserve them as best as we can.

What we also appreciate is the possisbility to digitize books of various formats which is a good thing for us because the Fondation Martin Bodmer has a wide range of rare books of different sizes.

Working with this scanner also allows us to save time because its dual sensors photograph two pages simultaneously.”

book2net Action

When the Cobra A2 was installed in 2015, intensive training for the staff was carried out at the same time. This way, the library does not have to rely on the help of outside specialists to carry out projects with our scanner. In addition, our service team took over the annual maintenance of the scanner, guaranteeing the smooth running of the project for years to come.


Already in the first year, over 400 publications were digitized with our Cobra A2. The digitization of the holdings continues on an ongoing basis. The digitized material is available to the public online via the Bodmer Lab website.

The medieval manuscripts are also available via the Swiss manuscript portal e-codices.

See Cobra

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