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Grant number like: PR-268783-20

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RIT (Rochester, NY 14623-5698)
David Messinger (Project Director: May 2019 to present)

Research and Development
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$350,000 (approved)
$347,680 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2020 – 2/28/2024

Low-Cost End-to-End Spectral Imaging System for Historical Document Discovery

A Tier II project to develop a low-cost spectral imaging system and accompanying software to recover obscured and illegible text in historical materials.

Most research libraries and museums hold unique or rare items on which historically significant text is no longer legible due to deterioration or erasure. Spectral imaging - the process of collecting images of objects in many wavelengths of light - has become one solution for recovering obscured and illegible text on historical materials. Unfortunately, these systems are very expensive, and require knowledge of image processing methods. Most libraries and museums cannot afford these systems, nor do they have the capacity to process the data. To mitigate this, we propose to develop a low-cost spectral imaging system with accompanying low barrier-to-entry software.