Jubilees Palimpsest

The Jubilees Palimpsest Project

January 16-17, 2019, University of Texas at Austin


Workshop on Integrated Spectral Reflectance Transformation Imaging (Spectral RTI)

Led by Dr. Todd Hanneken (Jubilees Palimpsest Project, St. Mary’s University) and Ken Boydston (president of MegaVision)


Wednesday, January 16 and Thursday, January 17, 2019

Learning Lab 3, Perry-Castañeda Library, The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas Libraries will be hosting a workshop on Integrated Spectral Reflectance Transformation Imaging (Spectral RTI) in cooperation with the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, the Jubilees Palimpsest Project at St. Mary’s University and MegaVision imaging. Spectral RTI is emerging as an important tool for Digital Humanities and has become an essential tool for scholars working on ancient manuscripts, particularly for those working on recovering illegible texts and deciphering palimpsests. During this two-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the basic techniques, methods, and best practices for Spectral RTI, and will have the opportunity to produce images using Spectral RTI. The workshop will be led by Todd Hanneken and Ken Boydston, leaders in the practice of Spectral RTI. All necessary imaging equipment for the workshop will be provided. Breakfast, coffee breaks, and lunch are included. The workshop is open to all interested faculty, graduate students, and staff affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin. To apply to participate in the workshop, please submit your application via Qualtrics by November 9: https://utexas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8IDtPuVjPPByDB3

As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to explain their interest in the workshop and to describe any objects to which they have access and of which they are interested in producing images during the course of the workshop. As space in the workshop is limited to 20 participants, applicants for the workshop must agree to participate fully in both days of the workshop.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Classics, and the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies. This workshop is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information or questions, please contact Dr. Jonathan Kaplan (Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern Studies) or Dr. Dale Correa (Middle Eastern Studies Librarian & History Coordinator, UT Libraries).


Spectral RTI


Spectral RTI Guide (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/spectralrtiguide/)

SpectralRTI_Toolkit for Fiji (ImageJ)

Java Plugin (https://github.com/thanneken/SpectralRTI_Toolkit)

Further reading

Pre-publisher copy of “Spectral RTI.” In Brill Textual History of the Bible Volume 3. Leiden: Brill (2017). (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/Hanneken(2017)SpectralRTI(BrillTHB3).html)

Pre-publisher copy of “New Technology for Imaging Unreadable Manuscripts and Other Artifacts: Integrated Spectral Reflectance Transformation Imaging (Spectral RTI).” In Ancient Worlds in a Digital Culture. Edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley, and David Hamidović. Digital Biblical Studies 1. Leiden: Brill (2016), 180–195. (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/Hanneken(2016)NewTechnologyImaging.html)

Videos (voice over slides)

Overview of Mirador for Studying Latin Moses (2018). (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/2018/ScreenRecordings.html"

“The Jubilees Palimpsest Project.” Presented to the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2017. (https://youtu.be/e3N3X46fDYo)

“The Future of Biblical Scholarship in a Digital Age.” Presented to the Catholic Biblical Association, August 2016. (https://youtu.be/xb64mjymMuw)

“Integrating Spectral and Reflectance Transformation Imaging.” Presented to the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2014. (https://youtu.be/G-1eWueAOzE)


Project website and image repository

Home (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/)

Mirador (http://jubilees.stmarytx.edu/mirador/)

Data archive

Raw data for specialists (http://palimpsest.stmarytx.edu/AmbrosianaArchive/)

MegaVision Arc
The MegaVision cultural heritage imaging system with swinging arc illuminator for rapid RTI and raking captures
2011 Ac_00 Ac_55 KTK01_55
The Testament of Moses palimpsest (Ambrosiana C73inf, CC BY-NC-SA) in conventional digitization (2011), spectral accurate color (2017), spectral accurate color with raking (2017), and spectral enhanced color with raking (KTK 2017). Note that conventional digitization fails to provide color accuracy and texture information, let alone enhancements.
USC Terracotta Figurine (CC BY-SA), probably commemorating Hadrian’s victory over the Sicarii on the occasion of his visit to Egypt. Tap the light bulb to turn on interactive relighting. Extended Spectrum color enhancement squeezes IR reflectance into the red range and UV reflectance into the blue range. Full screen
UCLA Rouse Ms. 32 (CC BY-SA), an erased but not rewritten palimpsest. Tap the light bulb to turn on interactive relighting. PCA Pseudocolor color enhancement increases visibility of slight traces of ink. Full screen