Badly damaged manuscripts sit on shelves in museum and library archives throughout the world, collecting dust while their potentially valuable contents remain locked away by their wrecked conditions. The Digital Restoration Initiative seeks to reveal the text hidden in these ancient treasures using “virtual unwrapping” software. This breakthrough technology takes a digital image of an unreadable manuscript and pushes it through a step-by-step computerized process that traces out the shape of the document, detects and overlays the writing on the document, and finally flattens the digitally recreated page so it can be read and analyzed. From the inner wraps of charred and carbonized scrolls to the fused and buckled pages of disintegrating books, the world’s vast invisible library can finally be made visible in a completely non-invasive, damage-free way.
Welcome to the Digital Restoration Initiative
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. IIS-0535003, IIS-1422039.