A Journeyman would be required to keep a journal or Wanderbuch. This would often serve as both passport and a resumé - peterspioneers.com

In modern Germany the Wanderbuch is still used. To the right is an example of a handmade, leather bound book in which the people a Journeyman works for make notes.

A modern wanderbuch or journeybook, as used today in Germany - image by Robin Wood

The Journeyman is not allowed to write in it himself and when in Germany each day he will get it stamped at the local post office to prove where he has been and that he has not gone back to the two areas he is not allowed (his home and the area he did his apprenticeship) - robin-wood.co.uk

In the Viral Academy we are looking to revive this tradition for Digital Nomads. By using Open Badges and Portable Linked Profiles, we are seeking to create P2P Digital Passports that act as a proof of certification, while retaining personal privacy.

How It Worked Historically

A travelling book of Albert Strauß on wikipedia

In medieval times, the journeyman would find a Master Craftsman who needed a help. He would give his Wander-Buch to the Master.

The Master Craftsman would review the work record in the Wander-Buch before hiring the journeyman. The Master would retain the Wander-Buch and enter at the end of the job a record of the time and place of the work. The Master would sign the entry, and an official stamp would indicate the city or town where the work was done. Sometimes, the Master would make a statement about the character of the journeyman.

The Future

Our vision is to create a trust based community, of supporters of Open Education, and to issue Nomadic Passports in much the same way that Journerymen were issued with Wanderbuch. In the same way our Nomadic Passports would act as secure P2P Digital Passports, and a Digital Résumé.


There are many examples of historical travelling Books (Wanderbuch). Here is a nice on from the Grand Duchy of Hesse