W. Brent Seales Ph.D. - Large Touch Screen Display

We are on the verge of exciting breakthroughs, making today the perfect time to get involved.

Combining his in-house software with the latest advances in digital imaging, Dr. Seales and his team of UK students are poised to make even greater discoveries, including reading the elusive Herculaneum papyri. Their cutting-edge work, however, won’t continue without financial support.

By partnering with us, you help restore some of humanity’s greatest written artifacts, releasing knowledge and understanding that has been hidden for centuries. At the same time, your support enables UK students to embark on an exciting adventure of purposeful discovery, setting them on a course toward professional success in an incomparably dynamic field.

The Digital Restoration Initiative at the University of Kentucky is made possible through donors like you. Funding for projects is highly competitive, and gaps in funding delay progress and limit student opportunities. Your partnership will allow this cutting-edge research to continue at the University of Kentucky with UK students at the helm.

Funding Opportunities

Achieving our research goals will require $500,000 per year over the next five years. Your investment supports the following:

Multi-spectral imaging machinery


  • Custom micro-CT scanner
  • Portable tomography system for fieldwork
  • Multi-spectral imaging machinery
  • 3D shape scanner
  • High-resolution photography studio
University of Kentucky Digital Restoration Students Abroad


  • Fieldwork at international partner institutions
  • Student research stipends
  • Study abroad opportunities for students
  • Software development
  • Partner collaboration and access to materials
Carbonized Herculaneum Scroll


  • Ezekiel scroll fragment, The Israel Antiquities Authority
  • Herculaneum scrolls and fragments, Institut de France and the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples, Italy
  • Egyptian coptic codices at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin and the Morgan Library & Museum in New York

Research Assistantship

Brent Seales and Stephen Parsons at the Biblioteca Nazionale, Naples, Italy

Hiring Graduate and/or Postdoctoral Research Assistants

Professor Brent Seales and the Digital Restoration Initiative are seeking dedicated Graduate and/or Postdoctoral Research Assistants for the 2020-2021 academic year. Our group specializes in the digital restoration of damaged artifacts using a variety of imaging and computational techniques: computer vision, computer graphics, tomography/synchrotron x-ray, machine learning. In 2015, we used our specialized software to digitally recover the complete text of a 2,000 year-old, burned Hebrew scroll (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/9/e1601247). We continue to advance this and other technologies to reveal more lost texts to the world.

Graduate RAs (at 20 hrs/week) and/or Postdoctoral Researchers (full time) will work on perfecting our existing software pipelines, developing new techniques for digital restoration, and applying our tools to existing DRI projects. Successful researchers will be considered for on-site work at international partner institutions. Experience in the following areas is preferred: computer vision, computer graphics, machine learning, distributed computing, dataflow programming, metadata design and implementation. A wide variety of skill levels will be considered for Graduate RAs. For Postdoctoral RAs, proficiency in one or more of the above-mentioned areas is required.

If you are interested, please send your CV and a letter of introduction to Dr. Brent Seales (seales@uky.edu) and Dr. James Brusuelas (james.brusuelas@uky.edu).