Lecture: The Digital Restoration Initiative: Reading the Invisible Library

Posted on Feb 6, 2018
Reading Room, Library of Congress

Reading Room, Library of Congress

Wednesday, February 14, 1:30 pm – Lecture at the Library of Congress (Madison Building, Pickford Theater on the Third Floor). Speaker: W. Brent Seales, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, University of Kentucky. Progress over the past decade in the digitization and analysis of text found in cultural objects (inscriptions, manuscripts, scrolls) has led to new methods for reading inaccessible text due to condition, the “invisible library.” This talk explains the development of non-invasive methods for revealing hidden or inaccessible text, showing results from text restoration projects on Homeric manuscripts, Herculaneum material, and Dead Sea scrolls. Focusing in particular on a new approach for “virtual unwrapping” or unrolling — Reference-Amplified Computed Tomography (RACT) — the talk examines how machine learning becomes a crucial part of the imaging pipeline. RACT may be the pathway for rescuing still-readable text from some of the most stubbornly damaged materials, like the enigmatic Herculaneum scrolls.

For more information and to register for the live webcast, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/seales/index.html