I was walking out of work yesterday evening when I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye advertising a lecture about the study of manuscripts.
Needless to say, I wheeled around and went back in.
The lecture — which was followed by a panel Q&A — was titled Shedding Light on Antiquity: The Forensic Imaging and Study of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Manuscripts, by Michael B. Toth.
Here are my notes on the lecture and panel:
-“You can tell he’s an engineer because he has white socks and sandals on”
-Spectral imaging (explained well here) can reveal undertext
- For ex: David Livingstone diaries written in berry juice on old newspapers (difficult to read: handwriting on top of newsprint)
- Via spectral imaging, can make handwriting stand out in digital images
- Can even make words colored for even easier distinguishing
-Scientists work with scholars to produce text that’s easy to work with
-Note to self: Google “Syriac,” “Galen”
-Can use spectral imaging on 3D objects to reveal, for ex., treatments that have been used on a piece of pottery, and when
-Intent is NOT to replace physical objects with digital scans
- How the book smells, what the binding looks like, etc. can’t be captured in scans
-“Books have strange fates, and you never know how they’re going to survive”
-Audience question: “How do you keep people from knocking these images off like a Michael Kors bag?”
Panelist: “Like a what?”
Other items of interest this bright Friday:
Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and the end of the Civil War. But despite our anxiousness to mark each anniversary as if April 9th, 1865 were retreating all the time, there’s never been closure.
What history buffs do in their free time. I spent a few blissful hours last week typing up the minutes of a women’s church group meeting from the 1920s.
I’ll be wearing this lip color all summer (in Hope).
I’m on the waitlist at the library to check out Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel. Currently, I’m not projected to get my hands on it until December. A trip to Barnes and Noble may be in order …
Tomorrow I’ll be at the Beer and Wine Festival, part of DC’s Cherry Blossom celebrations, pretending to know what I’m talking about in regards to IPA and chocolate overtones and spitting.
What are your plans? Have you been hit with any of this April blizzard madness?