HSI Update

You may remember a while ago we posted about some very interesting specialist imaging techniques happening with some of our items. Some fascinating results from the hyper spectral imaging are now with us. Kinjiro Amano of the University of Manchester sent over a sample of the analysis on the Haggadah page they imaged.

“A hyperspectral camera is like an ordinary colour camera, but rather than sampling just three broad regions of the light spectrum (red, green, and blue), it analyses the spectrum into many closely spaced narrow wavelength bands, providing a detailed description of its reflecting properties.

Kinjiro Amano and David Foster from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester have been using a hyperspectral imaging system to analyse some archival materials at the John Rylands University Library. They imaged a page of a 14th Century Haggadah and, for comparison, some pigment samples being considered for use in restoration work.

For each of the areas identified on the Haggadah, the continuous lines in the graphs show the page reflectance at each wavelength and the symbols show the corresponding reflectances of some of the pigment samples. If the lines and symbols overlap, perhaps with a little scaling vertically, then the pigments are a good match.”

Haggadah pigment analysis

As you can see in the image, the reflectance of certain areas of the image can be analysed, making it possible to identify what the pigments in this area are composed of. The fascinating work will allow us to use the correct consolidation techniques on each area of the damaged volume, knowing exactly what materials to use for maximum effect.

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