Archimedes Palimpsest

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The Archimedes Palimpsest is a thirteenth-century Greek prayer book written on parchment reused from much older scientific manuscripts, including works (some heretofore lost) of Archimedes, Hypereides, a commentary on Aristotle, and others. The digitization project, which ran from ten years from 1998-2008, applied the latest digital imaging techniques, including multispectral imaging, to recover as much of the concealed text and diagrams as possible.

Outcomes of the project included:

  1. A public presentation of the project, the imaging story, descriptions and editions of the new texts, and a museum display in the Walters Art Gallery where the palimpsest is housed.
  2. An open access, Creative Commons-licensed repository of the photographs, enhaced and filtered images, metadata and raw EpiDoc/TEI XML transcriptions of both surface and concealed texts on each page.
  3. A presentation of the scientific manuscripts, published openly and free through Google Books.
  4. Hard drives containing the approximately 1TB of raw image data, mailed to interested academics around the world.
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