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Grant number like: HD-51709-13

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Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274-4182)
Todd Russell Hanneken (Project Director: October 2012 to August 2014)
Michael Ben Phelps (Co Project Director: October 2012 to August 2014)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

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$60,000 (approved)
$58,338 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2013 – 4/30/2014

Integrating Spectral and Reflectance Transformation Imaging for the Digitization of Manuscripts & Other Cultural Artifacts

The establishment of best practices for the application of spectral imaging and Reflectance Transformation Imaging technologies to reveal new information about objects of study in the humanities. Activities would include the imaging of three test objects and follow-up quality evaluation undertaken by humanities scholars.

This project will bring together the nation’s leading experts to integrate two proven technologies for imaging cultural artifacts. The first technology is spectral imaging, which excels at collecting detailed color information in order to recover information which is indistinguishable to the naked eye, such as unreadable text on a manuscript or stages of revision in a painting. The second technology is Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), which captures the detailed surface texture of artifacts. RTI images can be viewed interactively and enhanced, allowing scholars and conservators to reconstruct the methods by which an artifact was produced and to analyze its current physical condition. The team will test two experimental integration procedures on three representative test objects. Humanities scholars will be responsible for evaluating the benefits. The work scripts and benefit analysis will be published for use in imaging major artifact collections around the world.