R.B. Toth Associates

For over 15 years, R.B. Toth Associates LLC has led and managed integrated teams of scientists, curators, conservators, scholars and technical experts in cultural heritage and digital humanities studies. In partnership with Dr. Bill Christens-Barry of Equipoise Imaging, LLC and Phase One A/S, our work includes empowering institutions to conduct their own spectral imaging and other technical studies of paper, parchment and papyrus manuscripts and objects.  

Phase One, innovator in high-end camera systems, joined us to develop state-of-the-art spectral imaging systems and services to help analyze and preserve important cultural heritage objects. Our alliance follows the successful integration of high-end, multispectral imaging systems in the United States and Europe.  “Multi-spectral imaging has been used successfully to digitize and recover the most valuable treasures of cultural heritage writing and painting from decay,” said Henrik Håkonsson, CEO of Phase One. “As the technology advances, new doors are opening to this market, including libraries, archives, universities and private collections. Phase One looks forward to its collaboration with R.B. Toth Associates and Equipoise Imaging, LLC to provide new solutions and services for these customers.”

Multispectral Imaging System

Our 4th-Generation modular multispectral imaging system, with a Phase One achromatic camera and integrated post-processing tools, is capable of revealing text and drawings unseen by the human eye.  It captures images from specific spectral bands of light with LED illumination developed by Dr. Christens-Barry. This yields an “image cube,” a stack of registered images that are then digitally processed to reveal text, drawings and other details.  This includes following modular components compatible with other Phase One camera systems:

Camera: An Achromatic Phase One IQ260 (60 megapixel) medium-format digital camera back is mounted on a Phase One iXR camera body with an optimized lens providing 350 – 1,000 nm sensitivity.

Lighting: Narrowband illumination of the object is provided by two light emitting diode (LED) panels that emit light in up to 13 narrow wavelength bands. The LEDs minimize maintenance, power needs and heat and relative humidity change during imaging. 

Image Collection Software: Camera-specific operating software is used to provide both camera and lighting subsystems operation and metadata collection. 

Data Storage and Access: A full-system data architecture, including data storage, access and management, is provided with at least 1Gb data transfer. 

Image Processing Software: Advanced digital image processing takes place after imaging with open-source ImageJ plug-ins to reveal, characterize and enhance unseen and difficult to read text, drawings and residues.

From the Harvard University Library in the USA to the Library of Congress, universities in the US and Europe, and the libraries of the Vatican and St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Desert, we provide spectral imaging systems for institutions and programs around the globe to do their own spectral imaging and post-processing.