Multispectral imaging

A unique library of medieval manuscripts, devastated by fire during World War II and considered lost by scholars, could be restored using technology developed to study the surface of planets. […]
The medieval library at Chartres, France, was destroyed in an allied bombing raid on the evening of 26 May, 1944.
[…] But digital technology called multispectral imaging may now be able to reveal text on even the most badly burned manuscripts, allowing scholars to study them again.
[…] “The beauty of [multispectral imaging] is that it is not invasive,” Professor Richard Janko of the University of Michigan, US, told BBC News Online.
“It’s worth a trial [on the Chartres texts]. It could do a lot for the study of medieval literature,” he added.
[…] Multispectral imaging is widely used on satellites that produce detailed images of the Earth. But it is now gaining ground as a technique in archaeological restoration.
Researchers take several images of a manuscript with a special multispectral camera.
The photos are then passed through different filters to produce a set of images viewed at different wavelengths of light.
These wavelengths range from colours in the visible spectrum to infrared and ultraviolet light – which are invisible to the naked eye.
This image set is then processed to show up subtle features on the page, revealing text previously concealed from human vision.

Reading this I remembered the famous “Red Book” of the former Benedictine monastery Lorch (near Schwäbisch Gmünd, Württemberg) also damaged in WW II (see my German lecture).

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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