Giuseppe MAINO / Silvia MASSARI / Lorenza ROVERSI

(ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technology Energy and Environment and University of Bologna, Italy)

Outline: Definition of procedures for digitization, improvement of readibility through multispectral analyses and multimedia database archiving of ancient or damaged documents and books.

We describe applications of multispectral techniques to the analysis and digitization of both librarian and archival heritage, considering two exemplary cases developed within the framework of an international project, GIANO, funded by the European Community and directed by one of us (G.M.). In particular, we consider the digitization and popularization through multimedia databases of XVI century books of Calabrian libraries, many of them existing only in a few copies, incunaboli from the Osservanza library in Bologna and the archival sources of sea trades between Byzantium and the Southern Italy in the Middle Age. Results of digitization, multispectral analyses, arrangement in suitable multimedia database system based on JAVA and XML scripts are described and examples of interactive DBMS in internet are pointed out, starting from the three previous cases and another interesting application concerning an historical archive of XIX century art photographs – relevant to the artistic and archaeological heritage in the Mediterrannean region – conserved at the historical archive of Bologna University. The combination of computer science and physics advanced technologies allowed developing and testing original procedures for archiving and improving the readability of ancient documents and books, so defining a complete framework to deal with archival and librarian cultural heritage in order to guarantee the best preservation conditions as well as the largest diffusion of the texts in digital formats like the originals and with the possibility to include comments, glossae, references and so on in the multimedia database.

Keywords: multispectral analysis, multimedia, database, archive, library