MegaVision Captures Text of Damaged Manuscript in Dresden
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., July 1 -- MegaVision announced today that company President Ken Boydston traveled to Dresden, Germany, in June of this year, for the imaging of Les Esches d'Amour (The Chess of Love)--a 14th-century manuscript of a Middle French poem--at the Saxton State University Library. A team of imaging scientists used a digital camera system devised by MegaVision to digitally capture the text of the badly damaged medieval manuscript text.
The imaging project was led by Gregory Heyworth, associate professor of English at the University of Mississippi. The manuscript had suffered severe water damage as a result of the fire bombing of Dresden in 1945, and much of it had been illegible--until now.
Heyworth has long had an interest in this particular manuscript. With the aid of a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), he was able to enlist the aid of the imaging group that worked to restore the Archimedes palimpsest--seven treatises by the Greek engineer and mathematician Archimedes (287 - 212 B.C.) which were overwritten by monastic scribes when they used recycled parchment sheets to write a 13th-century Byzantine prayer book.
The Dresden manuscript had been stored in watertight cabinets during the war in hopes that it would escape damage. However, the effects of the bombing blasts caused the breaking of the seals, and sludge seeped into the cabinets. By the time it was rescued, the poem was nearly illegible. For years it remained in East Germany, unavailable for study and without the technology to restore the text.
The imaging team implemented the MegaVision EurekaVision, which allows the capture of very high resolution, high dynamic range, and highly repeatable digital images over a range of 12 or more spectral bands--from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared. It allows the use of narrow-band LED illumination, which subjects the manuscript to only the light energy that is required to expose a highly sensitive, unfiltered monochrome sensor. This strategy results in orders of magnitude reduction in the light energy to which the manuscript is exposed and provides images of unprecedented resolution, registration, quality, and spectral content.
The photographing of rare and damaged manuscripts is an area of expertise for MegaVision, and the company's services are regularly requested by both private organizations and governmental agencies engaged in cultural heritage imaging.
For more information about the medieval manuscript project, visit: medieval manuscript u of miss.edu
For Further Information:
CONTACT: Jennifer Boydston, Administrative Assistant, at MegaVision Corporation, 805-964-1400.