Keith KNOX
(Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, Kihei, Hawaii, USA)

Keywords: recovery, multispectral, imaging, collaboration

To recover erased or damaged text, written on parchment, it takes a close collaboration between the scholar, that wants to read the text, and the imaging scientist, that is imaging the manuscript. In many cases, the characters are so indistinct, that only hints of them remain. It is only by the scientist and scholar working closely together in the recovery process that the full text can be obtained.
The recovery process starts with imaging the manuscript with a system that captures the response of the parchment and inks under illuminations ranging from the ultraviolet through the near infrared. Light with wavelengths from 365 to 1050 nanometers is used to match the sensitivity of the silicon sensor. After the capture of the data, the recovery process begins. Sometimes, the desired text appears clearly in one or more of the spectral images. In most cases, the desired text shows up only faintly, and is partially spread over several of the images. Recovery of that text requires specialized manipulation of images across the collection to reverse the distortions and reveal the text.
It is in the recovery process where the major collaboration between the scholar and the scientist occurs. The scholar needs to help the scientist see the nature of the remnants of the desired characters. Without this, the scientist cannot tell when a process is working. At the same time, the scientist needs to illustrate to the scholar the types of results that processing can achieve. Because the nature of the distortions can vary across a single page, more than one processed result may be needed to recover the full page.
Examples from collaborative projects over the last few years will be used to illustrate the nature and importance of a close collaboration between the scholar and the scientist in text recovery.

Relevance for the conference: Recovery of erased or damaged text is a crucial element of the preservation of cultural heritage.
Relevance for the session: Collaboration between scholars and scientists is essential for the recovery of erased, damaged, or overwritten text.
Innovation: Several new methods of text recovery will be shown that have been developed through collaboration of scholars and scientists.