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12 April 2021 Low-cost, user friendly multispectral imaging system for the recovery of damaged, faded or palimpsested historical documents
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Abstract
Many research libraries and museums hold unique or rare items on which historically significant text is no longer legible due to damage, deterioration, or erasure. Spectral imaging { the process of capturing images of objects in many colors or wavelengths of light, including parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are not observable by humans but easily imaged by modern sensors (i.e., ultraviolet and infrared) { has become the go-to" solution for recovering obscured and illegible texts. Unfortunately, most of these imaging systems are very expensive and not intuitive to use. Additionally, software to process the captured images can be expensive, difficult to use, and require significant knowledge of image processing methods. To address the above issues, we have developed a low-cost multispectral imaging system with accompanying open-source software that librarians, curators, and scholars with limited budgets can use to recover obscured and illegible text in their collections. The developed system is easy to use, can be dismantled and transported with little effort, and produce good quality spectral images as well as accurate true color renderings for digitization if needed. The software was developed with simplicity and functionality in mind. Basic image processing to uncover lost text is easy to implement without special image processing knowledge. The system specifications, characterization and calibration procedures and results are discussed. Images captured from a 15th century palimpsested manuscript leaf are shown and results discussed.
Conference Presentation
© (2021) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tania Kleynhans, MacKenzie L. Carr, and David W. Messinger "Low-cost, user friendly multispectral imaging system for the recovery of damaged, faded or palimpsested historical documents", Proc. SPIE 11727, Algorithms, Technologies, and Applications for Multispectral and Hyperspectral Imaging XXVII, 117270F (12 April 2021); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2585629
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KEYWORDS
Imaging systems

Multispectral imaging

Data modeling

Systems modeling

Linear filtering

Optical filtering

Performance modeling

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