During his explorations of Africa, David Livingstone kept a diary and wrote letters about his experiences. Near the end
of his travels, he ran out of paper and ink and began recording his thoughts on leftover newspaper with ink made from
local seeds. These writings suffer from fading, from interference with the printed text and from bleed through of the
handwriting on the other side of the paper, making them hard to read. New image processing techniques have been
developed to deal with these papers to make Livingstone's handwriting available to the scholars to read.
A scan of the David Livingstone's papers was made using a twelve-wavelength, multispectral imaging system. The
wavelengths ranged from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. In these wavelengths, the three different types of writing
behave differently, making them distinguishable from each other. So far, three methods have been used to recover
Livingstone's handwriting. These include pseudocolor (to make the different writings distinguishable), spectral band
ratios (to remove text that does not change), and principal components analysis (to separate the different writings). In
initial trials, these techniques have been able to lift handwriting off printed text and have suppressed handwriting that has
bled through from the other side of the paper.