Spectral Imaging Reveals Ancient Texts @ Mt. Sinai Monastery
Spectral Imaging at the Library of St. Catherine's Monastery Reveals Ancient
Sept. 11, 2012
Justin, the librarian of St. Catherine's Monastery, and Michael B. Toth, the
Sinai Palimpsest Project Program Manager, will speak at the U.S. National
Archives and Records Administration on November 19, 2012 about a fascinating
project they are managing: resurrecting texts from documents that are 1,000 to
2,000 years old. The talk will be broadcast on the World Wide Web so you can
listen to it from your home or office without traveling to Washington, D.C.
Father Justin and Michael B. Toth will discuss how advanced spectral imaging
is revealing ancient texts in the remote library of a Greek Orthodox monastery
in Egypt's Sinai desert. The monastery has a very important collection of
manuscripts, the earliest *dating from the fourth century*.
Because writing materials were sometimes scarce, the library contains many
palimpsests -- manuscripts where the original text was erased, and the valuable
parchment used a second time. The faint original texts can often be recovered
through the use of spectral imaging.
Scientists, scholars, and technical experts are working in
close collaboration with Archbishop Damianos and the monks to spectrally image
significant manuscripts from the monastery's rich collection of palimpsests. The
system is similar to the one used by the Library of Congress Preservation
Division for the past five years to study America's Top Treasures and other
manuscripts. This five year program is conducted under the auspices of the
nonprofit Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL), and sponsored by the
UK-based Arcadia Foundation.
Fr. Justin Sinaites is the Librarian of the Sacred and Imperial Monastery of
the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai. The Library contains some 3,300 manuscripts,
8,000 early printed books and an important archive containing letters, account
books, charters, and other documents.
Michael B. Toth, president of R.B. Toth Associates, brings over 25 years of
experience with systems integration, program management and strategic planning
to support museums and libraries as they capitalize on advances in information
and digital imaging technology.
Seats are limited at this event. Even the webcast will be restricted by
bandwidth considerations to a limited number of people. You need to make
reservations NOW. More information may be found at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/ancient_text/ancient_text.html
Online Geneology Network
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