[The Great Parchment Book Project]

Digital Restoration
of The Great Parchment Book

a joint project between London Metropolitan Archives, University College London and friends

Introduction

Reading fire damaged manuscripts is often very difficult due to the fragile nature of the texts, and their distorted form. We present here an award-winning project (SUCCEED Award, UNESCO Memory of The World Status) between London Metropolitan Archives and University College London (Department of Computer Science and UCL Centre for Digital Humanities), in partial collaboration with ETH Zurich, which has enabled the virtual flattening and digital restoration of the fire damaged Great Parchment Book of The Honourable The Irish Society, exploring how advanced digitisation methods can help in reading fire damaged texts such as this. By developing an acquisition workflow to digitise the text, supported by preparatory conservation treatment, and then developing software to explore and flatten the documents, we are able to produce novel digital images of the document which have aided in the transcription of the text.

This page mainly serves dissemination of our joint academic outputs, and of the free software developed in the course of the project. Please also check out the overarching project's web presence at http://www.greatparchmentbook.org/.

Citation Style:    Publications

[Digitally Reconstructing The Great Parchment Book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents]
Digitally Reconstructing The Great Parchment Book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents.
Kazim Pal, Nicole Avery, Pete Boston, Alberto Campagnolo, Caroline De Stefani, Helen Matheson-Pollock, Daniele Panozzo, Matthew Payne, Christian Schüller, Chris Sanderson, Chris Scott, Philippa Smith, Rachel Smither, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Ann Stewart, Emma Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Melissa Terras, Bernadette Walsh, Laurence Ward, Liz Yamada, Tim Weyrich.
Literary and Linguistic Computing: the journal of digital scholarship in the humanities, pp. 1–31, Oxford University Press, December 2016.
Kazim Pal, Nicole Avery, Pete Boston, Alberto Campagnolo, Caroline De Stefani, Helen Matheson-Pollock, Daniele Panozzo, Matthew Payne, Christian Schüller, Chris Sanderson, Chris Scott, Philippa Smith, Rachael Smither, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Ann Stewart, Emma Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Melissa Terras, Bernadette Walsh, Laurence Ward, Liz Yamada, and Tim Weyrich. Digitally reconstructing the great parchment book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents. Literary and Linguistic Computing: the journal of digital scholarship in the humanities, Oxford University Press, pages 1–31, December 2016.Pal, K., Avery, N., Boston, P., Campagnolo, A., De Stefani, C., Matheson-Pollock, H., Panozzo, D., Payne, M., Schüller, C., Sanderson, C., Scott, C., Smith, P., Smither, R., Sorkine-Hornung, O., Stewart, A., Stewart, E., Stewart, P., Terras, M., Walsh, B., Ward, L., Yamada, L., and Weyrich, T. 2016. Digitally reconstructing the great parchment book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents. Literary and Linguistic Computing: the journal of digital scholarship in the humanities, Oxford University Press (Dec.), 1–31.K. Pal, N. Avery, P. Boston, A. Campagnolo, C. De Stefani, H. Matheson-Pollock, D. Panozzo, M. Payne, C. Schüller, C. Sanderson, C. Scott, P. Smith, R. Smither, O. Sorkine-Hornung, A. Stewart, E. Stewart, P. Stewart, M. Terras, B. Walsh, L. Ward, L. Yamada, and T. Weyrich, “Digitally reconstructing the great parchment book: 3D recovery of fire-damaged historical documents,” Literary and Linguistic Computing: the journal of digital scholarship in the humanities, Oxford University Press, pp. 1–31, Dec. 2016.
[Web Page] [PDF (26 MB)] [BibTeX]
[Content-Aware Surface Parameterization for Interactive Restoration of Historical Documents]
Content-Aware Surface Parameterization for Interactive Restoration of Historical Documents.
Kazim Pal, Christian Schüller, Daniele Panozzo, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Tim Weyrich.
Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), 33(2), 9 pages, 2014.
Kazim Pal, Christian Schüller, Daniele Panozzo, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, and Tim Weyrich. Content-aware surface parameterization for interactive restoration of historical documents. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), 33(2):1–9, 2014.Pal, K., Schüller, C., Panozzo, D., Sorkine-Hornung, O., and Weyrich, T. 2014. Content-aware surface parameterization for interactive restoration of historical documents. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics) 33, 2, 1–9.K. Pal, C. Schüller, D. Panozzo, O. Sorkine-Hornung, and T. Weyrich, “Content-aware surface parameterization for interactive restoration of historical documents,” Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 1–9, 2014.
[Web Page] [PDF (43 MB)] [Low-res PDF (6.7 MB)] [Video (180 MB)] [Video (You Tube)] [BibTeX]
[3D Reconstruction For Damaged Documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book]
3D Reconstruction For Damaged Documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book.
Kazim Pal, Melissa Terras, Tim Weyrich.
In Proc. of 2nd Intl. Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing, pp. 14–21, Washington DC, 24 August, 2013.
Selected for oral presentation.
Kazim Pal, Melissa Terras, and Tim Weyrich. 3D reconstruction for damaged documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book. In Proc. of 2nd International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing, pages 14–21, August 2013. Selected for oral presentation.Pal, K., Terras, M., and Weyrich, T. 2013. 3D reconstruction for damaged documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book. In Proc. of 2nd International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing, 14–21. Selected for oral presentation.K. Pal, M. Terras, and T. Weyrich, “3D reconstruction for damaged documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book,” in Proc. of 2nd International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing, Aug. 2013, pp. 14–21, selected for oral presentation.
[Web Page] [PDF (13 MB)] [BibTeX]
[The Great Parchment Book]
The Great Parchment Book.
Nicola Avery, Alberto Campagnolo, Caroline De Stefani, Kazim Pal, Matthew Payne, Philippa Smith, Rachael Smither, Ann Marie Stewart, Emma Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Melissa Terras, Laurence Ward, Tim Weyrich, Elizabeth Yamada.
Poster presentation at Digital Humanities 2013, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. July 2013.
Nicola Avery, Alberto Campagnolo, Caroline De Stefani, Kazim Pal, Matthew Payne, Philippa Smith, Rachael Smither, Ann Marie Stewart, Emma Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Melissa Terras, Laurence Ward, Tim Weyrich, and Elizabeth Yamada. The great parchment book. In Digital Humanities 2013, July 2013.Avery, N., Campagnolo, A., Stefani, C. D., Pal, K., Payne, M., Smith, P., Smither, R., Stewart, A. M., Stewart, E., Stewart, P., Terras, M., Ward, L., Weyrich, T., and Yamada, E. 2013. The great parchment book. In Digital Humanities 2013.N. Avery, A. Campagnolo, C. D. Stefani, K. Pal, M. Payne, P. Smith, R. Smither, A. M. Stewart, E. Stewart, P. Stewart, M. Terras, L. Ward, T. Weyrich, and E. Yamada, “The great parchment book,” in Digital Humanities 2013, Jul. 2013.
[PDF (13 MB)] [BibTeX]
[Interactive Exploration and Flattening of Deformed Historical Documents]
Interactive Exploration and Flattening of Deformed Historical Documents.
Kazim Pal, Melissa Terras, Tim Weyrich.
Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), 32(2), pp. 327–334, 2013.
Kazim Pal, Melissa Terras, and Tim Weyrich. Interactive exploration and flattening of deformed historical documents. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), 32(2):327–334, 2013.Pal, K., Terras, M., and Weyrich, T. 2013. Interactive exploration and flattening of deformed historical documents. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics) 32, 2, 327–334.K. Pal, M. Terras, and T. Weyrich, “Interactive exploration and flattening of deformed historical documents,” Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics), vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 327–334, 2013.
[Web Page] [PDF (7.5 MB)] [Video (7.4 MB)] [BibTeX]

Related Presentations and Reports

[The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts]
The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts.
Alejandro Giacometti, Alberto Campagnolo, Lindsay MacDonald, Simon Mahony, Stuart Robson, Tim Weyrich, Melissa Terras, Adam Gibson.
In Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, pp. 1–22, October 2015.
Alejandro Giacometti, Alberto Campagnolo, Lindsay MacDonald, Simon Mahony, Stuart Robson, Tim Weyrich, Melissa Terras, and Adam Gibson. The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, pages 1–22, October 2015.Giacometti, A., Campagnolo, A., MacDonald, L., Mahony, S., Robson, S., Weyrich, T., Terras, M., and Gibson, A. 2015. The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (Oct.), 1–22.A. Giacometti, A. Campagnolo, L. MacDonald, S. Mahony, S. Robson, T. Weyrich, M. Terras, and A. Gibson, “The value of critical destruction: Evaluating multispectral image processing methods for the analysis of primary historical texts,” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, pp. 1–22, Oct. 2015. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqv036
[Web Page] [PDF (1.5 MB)] [BibTeX]
[Heritage Imaging at UCL]
Heritage Imaging at UCL.
Alejandro Giacometti, Adam Gibson, Mona Hess, John Hindmarch, Lindsay MacDonald, Kazim Pal, Stuart Robson, Melissa Terras, Tim Weyrich.
In Proc. Annual Conference of Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP), London, UK, 27 November 2014.
Alejandro Giacometti, Adam Gibson, Mona Hess, John Hindmarch, Lindsay Macdonald, Kazim Pal, Stuart Robson, Melissa Terras, and Tim Weyrich. Heritage imaging at UCL. In Annual Conference of Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP), November 2014.Giacometti, A., Gibson, A., Hess, M., Hindmarch, J., Macdonald, L., Pal, K., Robson, S., Terras, M., and Weyrich, T. 2014. Heritage imaging at UCL. In Annual Conference of Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP).A. Giacometti, A. Gibson, M. Hess, J. Hindmarch, L. Macdonald, K. Pal, S. Robson, M. Terras, and T. Weyrich, “Heritage imaging at UCL,” in Annual Conference of Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP), Nov. 2014.
[Web Page] [PDF (14 MB)] [BibTeX]
[Colour Analysis of Degraded Parchment]
Colour Analysis of Degraded Parchment.
Lindsay MacDonald, Alejandro Giacometti, Tim Weyrich, Melissa Terras, Adam Gibson.
Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC), Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, July 2013.
Lindsay MacDonald, Alejandro Giacometti, Tim Weyrich, Melissa Terras, and Adam Gibson. Colour analysis of degraded parchment. In Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC), July 2013.MacDonald, L., Giacometti, A., Weyrich, T., Terras, M., and Gibson, A. 2013. Colour analysis of degraded parchment. In Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC).L. MacDonald, A. Giacometti, T. Weyrich, M. Terras, and A. Gibson, “Colour analysis of degraded parchment,” in Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC), Jul. 2013.
[PDF (0.3 MB)] [Poster PDF (2.8 MB)] [BibTeX]
[Documenting and Interpreting Parchment Deterioration by Visual Analysis and Multispectral Imaging]
Documenting and Interpreting Parchment Deterioration by Visual Analysis and Multispectral Imaging.
Alberto Campagnolo, Alejandro Giacometti, Lindsay MacDonald, Simon Mahony, Melissa Terras, Stuart Robson, Tim Weyrich, Adam Gibson.
Icon PF13, Positive Futures in an Uncertain World, Glasgow, 10–12 April 2013.
Alberto Campagnolo, Alejandro Giacometti, Lindsay MacDonald, Simon Mahony, Melissa Terras, Stuart Robson, Tim Weyrich, and Adam Gibson. Documenting and interpreting parchment deterioration by visual analysis and multispectral imaging. In Icon PF13, Positive Futures in an Uncertain World, April 2013.Campagnolo, A., Giacometti, A., MacDonald, L., Mahony, S., Terras, M., Robson, S., Weyrich, T., and Gibson, A. 2013. Documenting and interpreting parchment deterioration by visual analysis and multispectral imaging. In Icon PF13, Positive Futures in an Uncertain World.A. Campagnolo, A. Giacometti, L. MacDonald, S. Mahony, M. Terras, S. Robson, T. Weyrich, and A. Gibson, “Documenting and interpreting parchment deterioration by visual analysis and multispectral imaging,” in Icon PF13, Positive Futures in an Uncertain World, Apr. 2013.
[BibTeX]

Software

Here we provide the source code of the software underlying the above publications. The software is provided as-is, and in its current version mainly for research purposes. Installation and licensing details can be found inside each software package.

A user documentation is currently under preparation.

We plan to further refine the software to make it more accessible to end-users in memory institutions. Please check in later again, or contact us at if you would like to be notified of any updates.

Source code downloads:
ParchmentTexture_2014-08-01.zip View-dependent texturing code to compute high-resolution texture atlast for 3D reconstruction from the original input images. (Most of it described in publication 3D Reconstruction For Damaged Documents: Imaging of The Great Parchment Book.)
ParchmentExplorer_2014-08-01.zip Interactive viewer with dynamic, local flattening mode. (Publication Interactive Exploration and Flattening of Deformed Historical Documents.)
ParchmentFlattener_2014-08-01.zip Content-aware, global flattening software. (Publication Content-Aware Surface Parameterization for Interactive Restoration of Historical Documents.)

Acknowledgments

The project represents a major partnership of international significance between a number of institutions. LMA and UCL gratefully acknowledge the support of the following:

Clothworkers' Company; Derry City Council Heritage and Museums Service; Drapers' Company; ETH Zurich; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Fishmongers' Company; Goldsmiths' Company; The Honourable The Irish Society; Ironmongers' Company; Marc Fitch Fund; Mercers' Company; Merchant Taylors' Company; National Manuscripts Conservation Trust; Skinners' Company; The British Library; The National Archives; The Trustees of Lambeth Palace Library.


Disclaimer: The documents contained in these pages are included to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.