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Historical informatics

Multispectral Imaging for Digital Restoration of Ancient Manuscripts: Devices, Methods and Practical Aspects

Miklas Khaits

Doctor of Philology

Researcher, faculty of philological and cultural research, Institute of Slavonic Studies, University of Vienna

1, Universitätsring, , Wien 1090, Osterreich

Brenner Simon

Researcher, faculty of information science, Institute of Automatized Automatization/Laboratory of Comuper Vision 

1, Universitätsring, Wiena, Osterreich 1090

Sablatnig Robert

Researcher, Faculty of Information Science, Insitute of Automatized Automatization/Laboratory of Computer Vision

1, Universitätsring, Wiena, Osterreich, 1090 




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Abstract: The article gives an overview of the current situation with the multispectral imaging starting from the formation of multispectral images, their registration and splitting of initial texts to further processing in order to enhance readability. It is the result of ten year development of the method as well as its practical use within interdisciplinary projects dedicated to ancient written heritage. In order to develop new research methods the inter-university Center of Images and Material Analysis in Cultural Heritage (CIMA) was founded in 2014 (http://hrsm.caa.tuwien.ac.at/). The specialists of the center together with material engineers have developed a repertoire of tools and techniques for the acquisition, processing and enhancement of multispectral images of badly preserved manuscripts.
Multispectral Imaging (MSI) is an approach to compensate for most of the shortcomings of human visual perception. The novelty of the method use within philological studies and source studies is apparent as it enhances the readability of degraded texts, reconstructs fully lost (erased from the surface of a parchment) information, analyzes writing materials – ink and devices to write and erase texts and images, studies the surface structure of the medium – parchment, etc. These are few issues to address with the help of the multispectral imaging method.

Keywords: palimpsest, CIMA , parchment, electromagnetic spectrum , ultraviolet waves, infrared waves, machine-aided learning , degraded text, manuscripts, multispectral imaging method
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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