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Heyworth, G., Van Duzer, C., Boydston, K., Phelps, M., Easton, R. (2016). A Demonstration of Multispectral Imaging. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, pp. 929-930.
A Demonstration of Multispectral Imaging

A Demonstration of Multispectral Imaging

Multispectral imaging is a powerful tool to recover text from manuscripts affected by fading, palimpsesting, water, fire, or overpainting. Many scholars working in the digital humanities have some acquaintance with the technology, but practical experience will help them better understand the range of imaging modalities that comprise contemporary multispectral imaging and the potential of each to advance their research. Though this workshop, scholars will be equipped to identify good candidates for the technology, and thus contribute to the recovery and preservation of our cultural heritage.

The Lazarus Project, headquartered at the University of Mississippi and directed by Gregory Heyworth, operates such a state-of-the-art multispectral imaging system that can be transported to institutions and researchers around the world so that the technology can be made available at no cost. This is part of the educational mission of the Lazarus Project – as a teaching tool for undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities and the imaging sciences – and is the reason why the capability may be offered at no cost. The system has been transported to institutions in the USA, England, Wales, France, Italy, Germany, and the Republic of Georgia to image a number of important historical objects, among which are the Vercelli Book, the Black Book of Carmarthen, and the c. 1491 world map by Henricus Martellus. This mission and capability of the Lazarus Project enables mid-sized institutions with a few manuscripts to benefit from the technology of multispectral imaging without making a sizeable investment in imaging equipment and personnel training. In addition, the cultural heritage objects are imaged at their home institution, without the difficulty of traveling to a stationary system that may be thousands of miles distant. The availability of this portable system that provides multispectral imaging free of charge makes it even more important that scholars who visit libraries and archives be able to identify good candidates for the technology.

The Lazarus Project will offer a workshop for participants in DH2016 in which the portable multispectral imaging system and the subsequent spectral image processing will be demonstrated. These demonstrations will take place in the Jagiellonian Library, and manuscripts from the library will be imaged. Thus, participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to see how multispectral imaging works, from the imaging of the object to the processing of the images and results. Each session will include a description of the equipment and process (camera, lens, LED light system, PhotoShoot software, and processing software tools), a few cycles of imaging of leaves of a manuscript, and a look at what goes into processing the images—with time for questions.

There will be four 90-minute workshops at the following times:

Monday, 11 July 2016: 9:30am - 11:00am

Monday, 11 July 2016: 2:30pm - 4:00pm

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 9:30am - 11:00am

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 2:30pm - 4:00pm

A maximum of 17 participants will be permitted in each session due to space constraints in the room in the Jagiellonian Library.

We look forward to seeing you at the demonstration.