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Sounds like a job for RTI and multispectral imaging

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Perhaps of interest primarily to the forum readers in the U.S.:


If only Thomas Jefferson could settle the issue


The error, according to Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., concerns a period that appears right after the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the transcript, but almost certainly not, she maintains, on the badly faded parchment original.

...“We want to take advantage of this possible new discovery,” William A. Mayer, the archives’ executive for research services, said in an email.

A discussion of ways to safely re-examine the badly deteriorated parchment, he added, is now “a top priority.”

...But ultimately, the debate over the accuracy of the period all comes down to the faded ink on Matlack’s parchment. 

And there, some manuscript experts say, existing high-resolution images show little evidence of a period.

...Mr. Mayer of the archives said it was testing the feasibility of doing new types of imaging, including hyperspectral imaging, through the document’s protective glass encasement. “We don’t yet know what’s possible,” he said.




Happy 4th of July!

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Thanks for posting Taylor!


In related matters - this is my favorite discovery from the Library of Congress's Fenella France and the use of spectral imaging.  It came out a few years ago on Independence day. It is definitely worth a repeat for those that don't know it!  If you ever get a chance to meet Fenella, ask her about it.  There's more behind the scenes parts to this story.





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Keep us posted Taylor if you hear that anyone manages to do the spectral imaging. I can attest to the significant contribution infrared RTI can make to detecting and deciphering virtually invisible details. This past month I managed to achieve excellent results on the carbonised Herculaneum papyri. We were thrilled to find it is possible to flesh out meaningful marks and features from some of the worst preserved fragments that papyrologists had otherwise given up on! We will be assembling a report on this work after the second phase is completed in September. I will post details in due course.

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Hallo I'm Paolo Triolo, I'm art historian and CH diagnost. I usually manage RTI in multispectral acquisition.

I've got good results in the IR band, on painting because RTI can exploit the capability of discovering pentimenti, but also on archeological vascular peinture, where infrared band can help to find out drying traces of black pigment and preparatory engraving.

I also tested RTI in UV fluorescence, through a modified flash, to study varnishes.

From 2014 i also put in common use for my activity RTI VIL, (visible induced infrared luminescence), to get RTI information about Egyptian blue painted areas. It need little bit complex postproduction, but it's useful on egyptian and roman artifacts. RTI VIL can be applied also to VIL fluorescent pigments as  Han purple, Maya blue and (with low intensity results) on cadmiun base red pigments.




Paolo Triolo

Fac. Conservazione e Restauro di Urbino

DISTAV- Università di Genova


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