Spectral Imaging Illuminates Damaged Manuscripts

Age-darkened and stained manuscript pages yield up their secrets to a historical imaging technique that uses different wavelengths of light to increase visual contrast. Spectral imaging can even reveal writing that has been “erased” – where a layer of vellum has been scraped off to provide a new writing surface.

Greg Bearman and Ken Boydston discuss their pioneering imaging work at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA on Aug 15, 2012.

Bearman is retired from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where another independent literary scholar currently works – check out JPL scientist Sabrina Feldman’s fascinating investigation into the Shakespeare Apocrypha.