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Cultural Heritage Destruction: Experiments with Parchment and Multispectral Imaging

Campagnolo, Alberto; Giacometti, Alejandro; MacDonald, Lindsay; Mahony, Simon; Terras, Melissa; Gibson, Adam; (2016) Cultural Heritage Destruction: Experiments with Parchment and Multispectral Imaging. In: Bodard, G and Romanello, M, (eds.) Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber: Teaching, Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement. (pp. 121-146). Ubiquity Press: London, United Kindom. Green open access

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Abstract

This chapter describes a highly collaborative project in digital humanities, which used tools and expertise from a diverse range of disciplines: medical physics, image science, and conservation. We describe this collaboration through three examples: the use of phantoms taken from medical physics, a historically accurate model of parchment degradation, and a detailed description of the steps taken to run experiments and collect data within a manageable budget. Each example highlights how procedures from a discipline were adapted for the project through collaboration. Whilst conservation focuses on developing methods to best preserve cultural heritage documents, we describe an unusual collaboration between conservation and image science to document through multispectral imaging the deliberate damage of a manuscript. Multispectral imaging has been utilised to examine cultural heritage documents by providing information about their physical properties. However, current digitisation efforts concentrate on recording documents in their current state. In this project, we aimed at recording the process of macroscopic document degradation using multispectral imaging, and the digital recovery of the writing using standard image processing methodologies. This project’s success lay in the intersection of knowledge of the processes of parchment deterioration and the specific processes that occur when a document is imaged: this has permitted us to construct a more successful and informed experiment. The knowledge acquired during the project allows us to address the issues related to the recovery of information from damaged parchment documents, and to determine which research questions can be addressed, and through which imaging methodology.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Cultural Heritage Destruction: Experiments with Parchment and Multispectral Imaging
ISBN-13: 9781909188488
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/bat.h
Publisher version: http://www.ubiquitypress.com/site/books/detail/21/...
Language: English
Additional information: How to cite this book chapter: Campagnolo, A, Giacometti, A, MacDonald, L, Mahony, S, Terras, M and Gibson, A. 2016. Cultural Heritage Destruction: Experiments with Parchment and Multispectral Imaging. In: Bodard, G & Romanello, M (eds.) Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber: Teaching, Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement, Pp. 121–146. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bat.h. License: CC-BY 4.0.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for Editing Lives and Letters
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492862
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