Rochester Cultural Heritage Imaging, Visualization, and Education is a collaboration of university researchers and students with the goal of extending the corpus of mankind’s cultural heritage. Most participants are based at the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology in western New York State, but the group also includes colleagues in Washington DC, Colorado, and Hawaii. R-CHIVE is leveraging the long history of innovation in imaging and of excellence in the humanities in Rochester to recover inscriptions from manuscripts and maps that had been erased or otherwise damaged. R-CHIVE has the potential to make Rochester the foremost location in the world for the scientific study of cultural heritage. R-CHIVE’s task is both urgent and difficult due to the loss of artifacts due to climate change and to deliberate destruction.
R-CHIVE members have participated over the last two decades in a large number of projects that successfully recovered writings formerly thought lost, including Archimedes Palimpsest (the oldest known copies of the writings of Archimedes from the 10th century that were erased and overwritten in 1229 CE), the Temple Scroll (from the caves in Qumran), the erased and overwritten palimpsests at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Les Échéz d’Amours – a manuscript damaged by the Allied bombing raids upon Dresden in 1945, and the c. 1491 world map by Henricus Martellus Germanus.