Chair: Katharina KASKA, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Austria

Description of the session: Throughout history books and documents risked being destroyed either by accident or on purpose. Not all of them were completely lost, however, some survived in a mutilated and damaged state, shriveled and darkened from heat, made illegible by water or torn to pieces by physical force. For centuries researchers have been trying to reconstruct those remnants using ever evolving methods to extract information and present their results to the public.
The arrival of digital imaging techniques and online databases was a major step forward not only in quality but also in quantity of reconstructed written material available for research. Text can now be extracted from damaged documents by new optical and spectroscopic methods, fragmented objects can be put together in a virtual environment and all results can be made available in an instant on new online platforms. This leads to a renewed interest in written material that had before been deemed too fragmented or too dispersed to be researched in any depth. This session therefore focuses on the application of new and improved methods for the reconstruction of written heritage and their presentation in online environments. It invites papers on technical aspects as well as case studies that highlight the application of new techniques within fields such as:

  • Digital reconstruction of fragmented documents
  • Databases for fragmented and reconstructed written heritage
  • New forms of online collaboration for dispersed written material
  • Advances in multispectral imaging of erased and degraded script
  • Image processing techniques for heavily degraded or multilayer documents
  • XRF-mapping for text recovery

Target group: Researches on written heritage, imaging techniques, reconstruction of texts and written documents.

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