Scientific Service Projects
The key words visualize, analyze, and characterize bring together three projects that are of fundamental and integrating importance for the planned special research area as a whole and for all of the individual plans. The aim is that they will have effects beyond the SFB and that they will result in sustainable computer-technological tools for manuscript research and a developed store of methods for future research. The three technically supporting projects with their respective foci supplement and cooperate closely with each other: Z01 centers on optical procedures for visualization; Z02 on a broad spectrum of natural-scientific material analysis; and Z03 on computer-supported characterization of script and signs. All these methods are non-destructive and non-invasive and do not alter the objects of research.
Here, the material foundations of manuscript culture and the substrates of script and pictures, as well as styles of script and forms of signs, are being investigated with current natural-scientific and information-technical procedures. This work requires close interaction among the humanities, the natural sciences, and informatics: the manuscript sciences provide the questions and point to difficulties that have been insoluble until now; in close contact with these manuscript sciences, the technological projects will work out new approaches to solutions and find answers.
Technologically, the long-term gains of these partial projects will be a workplace for computer-supported manuscript analysis, a “mobile laboratory” for the non-destructive examination of manuscripts on site, and extensive digitalization equipment including the necessary expertise to restore damaged or erased script. In terms of systematic scientific method, a transdisciplinary handbook is being developed for working with manuscripts in the areas of digitalization, material analysis, and computer-supported script characterization.
Methods of Analyzing Manuscripts for Recovering Lost Writing
In this project, modern technology is used to recover manuscript texts that are illegible due to accidental damage, intentional erasure or palimpsesting. The project employs one of the very latest technical systems for high-resolution multispectral imaging for this purpose and draws on several years of experience in its mobile use as well as tried and tested methods of evaluating the image data obtained with it. Specialised imaging work is being carried out for numerous sub-projects conducted at the SFB, and the interdisciplinary methodology employed in analysing manuscripts is being enhanced using technical approaches together with staff working on project Z02 and Z03.
Principal Investigator: Christian Brockmann
Technician: Ivan Shevchuck
Material-Scientific Methods for Reconstructing the History of Manuscripts
Now that a mobile laboratory has been set up, we are ready to support the scientific research projects planned for the second phase of the SFB’s work. Various non-destructive testing techniques (NDT) will be employed to this end such as optical microscopy and molecular and X-ray spectroscopy. In addition to this, we shall focus on assessing and adapting various existing material-science procedures and on developing a material database to facilitate the study of manuscripts.
Principal Investigator: Oliver Hahn
Image Processing Methods for Determining Visual Manuscript and Character Features
Having successfully created a prototype of an image-processing workbench for manuscript analysis known as ARMA, the focus of coming work in this project is on enhancing the existing tools and providing services with them. The aim here is to provide a generic platform (a portal-based solution) with established and novel methods of image processing/analysis in order to facilitate practical research. At the end of the second phase of funding, a pilot system will be available for collaborative use called the “Advanced Manuscript-analysis Portal” (AMAP).