Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

New Project for Daniel Reetz?

Whatever.
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Plautus
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Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 23:42

New Project for Daniel Reetz?

Post by Plautus » 04 Aug 2012, 12:26

http://vimeo.com/22606936

The time has come when we need a DIY solution for reading books that have been charred by a volcanic eruption, fused with water, and buried under tons of volcanic rock millenia ago. I mention Mr. Reetz because I'm sure he has lots of spare time at the moment, and also because he might have some advice for what dumpsters to look in for scrounging some Micro-CT equipment. :D

On a serious note, this paper provides some intriguing questions (which, in fairness, the References may answer when I have more than a half-hour to devote to this inquiry). It seems that this technique couldn't read (all) the text on the rolls because 1) Their algorithms require 1 voxel of space in 3 dimensions between layers (here, 10 microns), 2) the convoluted folds of the rolls contributed to the #1 problem while requiring lots of expert tweaking on the level of the individual layer, and 3) the carbon pigment used on the papyri is difficult to distinguish from the charred substrate. Otherwise, they'd had success with "similar items". Am I to take from this that right now, one could stick a medieval codex (with more loosely bound calfskin sheets in parallel flat planes bearing different inks) in one of these micro-CT scanners and use their algorithms to recover the text from it, unopened? Or less likely, from a more modern bound book? I assume the answers are in the References (I'll bump the thread if I find out one way or another), but if so I wonder how much it costs to operate such a machine, and whether that might be the future of preservation efforts.
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

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daniel_reetz
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Re: New Project for Daniel Reetz?

Post by daniel_reetz » 07 Aug 2012, 09:56

This has come up a few times when I'm out speaking with hardcore technologists - "Couldn't we just stick a book in an MRI or CT machine and scan it without ever opening it?"... I think the general answer is that it is within the realm of the possible, but you'd need to subject the book to extraordinary energy to do it.

I love the future-thinking stuff... building scanning rigs has been a blast but it would be great to move on to R&D projects again.

Plautus
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Joined: 11 Aug 2009, 23:42

Re: New Project for Daniel Reetz?

Post by Plautus » 07 Aug 2012, 14:23

daniel_reetz wrote:I think the general answer is that it is within the realm of the possible, but you'd need to subject the book to extraordinary energy to do it.
Yes, that came to me a bit later; if archives currently frown on subjecting their sensitive texts to incandescent lighting, CT scans should really give them the willies.

The Herculaneum Papyri are a special case in that we've been trying to open them by means we know are destructive for more than two hundred years now :p
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

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