2018-Comparison between Hyperspectral and Multispectral imaging of historical documents

Hyperspectral system used at the Bodlean Library, Oxford
Hyperspectral system used at the Bodlean Library, Oxford

Three PhD students in the English Department at the University of Rochester went to England this summer with the Ricardus Dialogue (University of Rochester, D.460 1000-003) to test out hyperspectral imaging on a manuscript with well-studied MSI results. Helen Davies, Alex Zawacki and Kyle Huskin arranged to fly from Rochester, NY to Oxford, England with the manuscript so that it could undergo HSI at the Bodleian Libraries with David Howell. David Messinger, director of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, met the students at the Bodleian with another manuscript to image under the hyperspectral system.

The goal of the collaboration between students at the UR and the Imaging Science Department at RIT, is to compare results of the hyperspectral system with that of the multispectral system used on the same document.

Ricardus Dialogue (Left – original image, Right – after processing multispectral data)

The Ricardus Dialogue is… well.. not much to look at. One curator once commented upon seeing the poor manuscript “I can’t believe the university’s library accepted that”. To which PhD candidate Kyle Huskin kindly comforted her “well, it was a gift, I believe”. The manuscript leaf under question is almost entirely illegible. Almost every sign of text has faded or completely disappeared.

2018-Chet Van Duzer: Henricus Martellus’s World Map at Yale (c. 1491). Multispectral Imaging, Sources, and Influence. Available now!

Van Duzer Henricus Martellus's World Map at Yale cover May 24 2018This book presents groundbreaking new research on a fifteenth-century world map by Henricus Martellus, c. 1491, now at Yale. The importance of the map had long been suspected, but it was essentially unstudiable because the texts on it had faded to illegibility. Multispectral imaging of the map, performed with NEH support in 2014, rendered its texts legible for the first time, leading to renewed study of the map by the author. This volume provides transcriptions, translations, and commentary on the Latin texts on the map, particularly their sources, as well as the place names in several regions. This leads to a demonstration of a very close relationship between the Martellus map and Martin Waldseemüller’s famous map of 1507. One of the most exciting discoveries on the map is in the hinterlands of southern Africa. The information there comes from African sources; the map is thus a unique and supremely important document regarding African cartography in the fifteenth century. This book is essential reading for digital humanitarians and historians of cartography. Book infoMartellus_300ppi combined processes WIP2 panorama with blue water - Africa whole

2018-Imaging of the Zacynthius Bible at Cambridge University Library

Zacynthius_Lc_3,7-8_(Mt26,39-51)A team including Keith Knox and Roger Easton of R-CHIVE and Michael Phelps and Damian Kasotakis of EMEL spent three weeks in July 2018 at Cambridge University Library (CUL) to image the “Codex Zacynthius,”which is a copy of the Gospel of Luke in uncial Greek that has been dated to the sixth century by paleography (shapes of the letterforms). The text is surrounded by a commentary, also in uncial Greek. It is the study of the commentary is the focus of the project, which is administered by the Institute of Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham (UK) and also includes the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg. The scholars working on the manuscript will begin transcripion in September 2018, and it is anticipated that additional processing of difficult areas will be necessary as the transcription proceeds. The effort was facilitated by the efforts of Ben Outhwaite (Head of the Genizah Research Unit at CUL), Suzanne Paul (Medieval Manuscripts Specialist at CUL), Hugh Houghton (Professor of New Testament Textual Scholarship at the University of Birmingham), Alba Fedeli (U. of Birmingham and U. of Milan), and the staff of the Digital Content Unit at CUL.