Reading Between the Lines: Recovering Historical Text by Multispectral Imaging

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (ET)
LUT LUT 200 Instruction and Events
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Hochberg, Rachel A

Join us for a talk and demonstration by Tania Kleynhans and Roger L. Easton of the Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology!

The collections of many libraries, archives, and museums include manuscripts that are unreadable due to accidental damage, deliberate erasure and overwriting to form a palimpsest, and/or the inevitable effects of time. Combinations of images collected under different wavelengths of light often can recover "lost" information. Such methods have been used to recover text from such objects as the Archimedes, Syriac-Galen, and St. Catherine’s palimpsests and the c.1491 world map by Henricus Martellus Germanus.

However, such imaging systems are expensive and require skill and experience to use effectively. A low-cost, low barrier-to-entry multispectral imaging system and associated software have been developed with support from the NEH for use by institutions to discover their own collections. This project aims to assist library, museum and digitization staff in surveying their collections of heretofore unsuspected objects and to enhance text in deteriorated objects or damaged archives.

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