Hyper Spectral Imaging and the Herlufsholm Special Collection

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    In 2017, the University Library of Southern Denmark was contacted by the Danish company Newtec Engineering in Odense who wanted to test their Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI) technology on a selection of old books containing unreadable texts in their bindings. The company develops weighing, packaging and optical sorting machinery for the food industry.
    The hypothesis was that Newtec’s HSI and optical scans in the near infrared spectrum would make it easier to read texts on worn medieval parchments and underneath layers of paper. Across the world, Multi Spectral Imaging and HSI have already proven themselves useful for this purpose. Therefore, a selection of monographies from the Herlufsholm Special Collection was brought to the company for optical scans, using the same kind of HSI technology that is deployed in the quality control of fruit and vegetables etc. In the experimental HSI setup, the book travels on a conveyor belt underneath special cameras and lighting. The images are sent to a pc. Among the scanned books, we have chosen to present the case of a 1583 copy of Commentariorum de Religione Christiana Libri quatuor by Petrus Ramus which has turned out to contain a medieval liturgical text on its cover, possibly stemming from a missal. Most likely, this fragment was fitted as part of the bookbinding by a 16th century bookbinder. Passages in the document were identified using full text searches in Google and in the Cantus Index http://cantusindex.org/. From a Digital Humanities perspective, the combination of HSI and Data Mining is a powerful tool when it comes to the reading and rapid identification of the above-mentioned type of fragments. It also stands to reason that both industrial companies and university libraries may benefit from these kinds of collaborations: The library is provided with an identification and the company gains technological insights.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date23. Jan 2019
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 23. Jan 2019
    EventAIUCD 2019: Pedagogy, Teaching, and Research in the Age of Digital Humanities - Palazzo Garzolini di Toppo Wassermann, Udine, Italy
    Duration: 23. Jan 201925. Jan 2019
    Conference number: 8


    ConferenceAIUCD 2019
    LocationPalazzo Garzolini di Toppo Wassermann
    Internet address


    • Hyper Spectral Imaging
    • fragments
    • Middle Ages
    • Danish Industry
    • University Library of Southern Denmark
    • Newtec Engineering
    • Herlufsholm
    • Special Collections


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