New book on technology and complex materiality

ARC Humanities Press has released the new title by Bill EndresDigitizing Medieval Manuscripts: The St. Chad Gospels, Materiality, Recoveries, and Representation in 2D & 3D. While outside the historical period mainly covered on archivefutures, it may be of interest nevertheless in terms of the how it advances debates around digital technology and complex materiality.



From the publisher’s website:

What does it mean to digitize a medieval manuscript? This book examines this question by exploring a range of advanced imaging technologies, from multispectral to 3D to reflectance transformation imaging. To understand imaging technologies requires an understanding of the complex materiality of what is being digitized and, to this end, the book focuses on the relationship between digital technologies and the complex materiality of manuscripts and the human bodies that engages them.

From this perspective, the chapters explore imaging technologies, interfaces to present digital surrogates, and limitations to and enhancements through the digital. But lest past photographic information be lost, the book also examines historical photographs, exploring their rich visual information, and how digitizing and comparing them transforms what can be known. Examples and innovations from the author’s work digitizing the eighth-century St. Chad Gospels at Lichfield Cathedral are provided.

This book is essential reading for all those involved in large and small scale manuscript digitization projects in both scholarly and cultural heritage contexts.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Age of Visual Wonder: Digitizing Materiality and Unriddling Light

Recovery: From Multispectral Imaging to Alternative Colour Spaces

Reflectance Transformation Imaging: An Enhanced View of Surface Details

The Otherwise Unknowable: Digitizing and Comparing Historical Photographs

Sacred Artifacts: Open Access, Power, Ethics, and Reciprocity

A Crisis in Knowledge-Space? A Look Toward Virtual Reality