The Vis Center team working on digitally unrolling Herculaneum scrolls through the EDUCE project was recently highlighted in an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader. Check out the story.
During the summer of 2007 researchers from the University of Kentucky, University of Houston, College of the Holy Cross, Furman University, and Brandeis University gathered in Venice, Italy at the Marciana Library to digitally preserve the Venetus A, the oldest existing complete text of the Homeric Iliad. Meticulously crafted in Byzantium, the Venetus A has been stored for 500 years in the Marciana Library. Its thousand-year-old pages contain handwritten notes recording a tradition of scholarship going back to the Ptolemaic scholars of the second century BCE. In addition to digital photos, the text was also scanned in 3D with each page now fully preserved as a 3D model.
During this time the Vis Center produced a documentary entitled, Imaging the Iliad: A Digital Renaissance. The film premiered on the University of Kentucky campus in December 2008 and then was first broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television in January 2009. Since then at least 25 public television stations around the United States have aired the documentary. The film is showing this weekend, July 24-26, at the Islamic Manuscript Association at Christ’s College in Cambridge, England.
Please contact the Vis Center Media Department for more information or to request a DVD copy of the film:
Tuesday, June 9, 2009 The Vis Center recently hosted Chris Collins, Head of Conservation from the Natural History Museum in London, England. Collins toured the Vis Center and also gave a presentation, “Mapping the Deterioration of Natural Objects from Dinosaurs to Genocide”, to a campus-wide audience.
Collins oversees the conservation of the Natural History Museums more than 70 million specimens. His development of models for the preservation of objects of historical, cultural, and scientific value is at the leading edge of preservation methods.
In his presentation Collins highlighted the key role imaging is playing in conservation today. Through the development of non-invasive imaging techniques the conservator can balance the preservation of the object with access to its information. For instance, CT scanning can provide access to data while minimizing damage to the object from handling. The researcher no longer has to come to the specimen, but can instead use the scans for research purposes. Other techniques being developed make use of 3D replicas that can be used for research purposes.
While the majority of his research takes place on-site in the Natural History Museum, Collins is also involved in the preservation of bodies from the Rwandan Genocide. He has advised on the creation of large sized oxygen-free storage to preserve bodies. Collins previously collaborated with Dr. W. Brent Seales, Director of the Vis Center, in 2007 on the Iliad project.