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Virtual recovery of content from x-ray micro-tomography scans of damaged historic scrolls

Rosin, Paul ORCID:, Lai, Yukun ORCID:, Liu, Chang, Davis, Graham, Mills, David, Tuson, Gary and Russell, Yuki 2018. Virtual recovery of content from x-ray micro-tomography scans of damaged historic scrolls. Scientific Reports 8 , 11901. 10.1038/s41598-018-29037-x

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There is a large body of historical documents that are too fragile to be opened or unrolled, making their contents inaccessible. Recent improvements in X-ray scanning technology and computer vision techniques make it possible to perform a “virtual” unrolling of such documents. We describe a novel technique to process a stack of 3D X-ray images to identify the surface of parchment scrolls, unroll them, and create a visualization of their written contents. Unlike existing techniques, we can handle even challenging cases with minimal manual interaction. Our novel approach was deployed on two 15th and 16th century damaged historic scrolls from the manors of Bressingham and Diss Heywood. The former has become fused, probably due to exposure to moisture, and cannot be fully unrolled. The latter was severely burnt several hundred years ago, becoming thoroughly charred, heat-shrunken, and distorted, with all the sheets now brittle and fused together. Our virtual unrolling revealed text that has been hidden for centuries.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 2 July 2018
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 20:16

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