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DCH Session 1 Images

Gabriel Bodard edited this page Oct 11, 2019 · 16 revisions

Sunoikisis Digital Cultural Heritage, Fall 2019

Session 1. Digital Images and Photography

Thursday Oct 3, 16:00 UK = 17:00 CET

Convenors: Rossitza Atanassova, Eugenio Falcioni (British Library)

YouTube link:

Slides: part 1 (photography); part 2 (metadata); part 3 (manipulation)

Session outline

  • A brief historical introduction to cultural heritage photography
  • Introduction to the digital image
  • Imaging of cultural heritage
  • Metadata for digital images
  • Image enhancement/manipulation

Seminar readings

  • Alberto Campagnolo & Alejandro Giacometti, 2016. "Cultural Heritage Destruction: Experiments with Parchment and Multispectral Imaging." In: Romanello M. & Bodard G, Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber. London: Ubiquity Press. Available:
  • Andrew Prescott, 2018. "Searching for Dr. Johnson: The Digitisation of the Burney Newspaper Collection." Brandtzæg, Goring & Watson (eds.) Travelling Chronicles: News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century. Brill: Leiden, pp. 49-71. Available:

Further reading

  • Andrew Burkett, Romantic Mediations: Media Theory and British Romanticism. Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. (Chapter 1, “Photographing Byron's Hand”). Albany State University of New York, 2016. Available:
  • Daniela Comelli et al. 2018. "Dual wavelength excitation for the time-resolved photoluminescence imaging of painted ancient Egyptian objects." Heritage Science 4:21. Available:
  • Catherine Grout et al. 2000. Creating Digital Resources for the Visual Arts: Standards and Good Practice. Visual Arts Data Service/Oxbow Books.
  • Lindsay MacDonanld (ed.), 2006. Digital Heritage: Applying digital imaging to cultural heritage. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Ségolène Tarte, 2016. "Of Features and Models: A Reflexive Account of Interdisciplinarity across Image Processing, Papyrology, and Trauma Surgery." In: Romanello M. & Bodard G, Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber. London: Ubiquity Press. Available:
  • Melissa Terras, 2006. Image to Interpretation: An intelligent system to aid historians in reading the Vindolanda texts. Oxford University Press.
  • Geert J. J. Verhoeven, 2016. "Basics of photography for cultural heritage imaging." In Stylianidis & Remondino (edd.) 3D recording, documentation and management of cultural heritage. Caithness: Whittles Publishing. Pp. 127-251. Available:

Essay title

  • tba


  1. Install the appropriate version of the GIMP image editing software for your computer's operating system, and ensure that the software is able to run.
  2. Choose one or two pages from these manuscripts (or any other manuscript you want, assuming you can find good images) where the text is not completely visible. Example 1; Example 2 and download the high resolution images.
  3. Look at the metadata embedded in the images, and note what information you can find about capture, photographers, hardware and software used, formats, and other decisions made in the digitization and enhancement process up to now.
  4. Try to enhance visibility and legibility using Gimp (or Photoshop, if you have access to it) using the layers, levels and curves features explained during the lesson.
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