|Image from original piece published by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council|
It’s often hard enough to find extant documents with relevance to our research. What about when we find them and then we cannot access them because they are too fragile and so unreadable?
Jean-Yves Baxter (GeneaNet) posted Reading the Unreadable: 'Unopenable' Scrolls Will Yield Their Secrets to New X-Ray System which refers to an article in the ScienceDaily with the same title who information is from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK).
Old parchment is often extremely dry and liable to crack and crumble if any attempt is made to physically unroll or unfold it. The new technology, however, eliminates the need to do so by enabling parchment to be unrolled or unfolded 'virtually' and the contents displayed on a computer screen.
You can find a YouTube video here (about 6.5 minutes) which talks about the process.
This is fascinating to me. Anyone who has ever handled old documents or photos knows that once rolled, folded or otherwise found in a not flat condition, we are limited in how we can handle such and what information we can obtain from them. Never mind, horrible hand-writing, bleeding ink, faded ink and other challenges we often face with such older documents.
Are there other “new” technologies that you are aware of that are helping make previously inaccessible/unreadable documents available to us?
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected]. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to [email protected]
I took a couple of courses on paper and photograph preservation at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation as an employee of the Smoky Hill Museum, Salina, KS. Two of my most useful educational adventures!ReplyDelete
Mary Clement Douglass
Transcribing & publishing Kansas genealogical records