Infrared Imaging Workshop with George Bevan

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On Monday 20th Feburary 2012 the John Rylands Library welcomed a visit from Dr. George Bevan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Queen’s University, Canada.

The visit was arranged by University of Manchester Academic and Papyrologist Dr. Roberta Mazza, Lecturer in Ancient History and Early Christianity, School of Arts, Histories & Cultures.

The workshop was incredibly informative and interesting and comes at an excellent time for CHICC as we are starting to think about developing other kinds of imaging techniques, such as Infrared Photography (IR). Dr. Bevan demonstrated his techniques using kit which can be packed down and transported around inside in a single camera case.

At one time IR photography was very costly, difficult and time consuming, however Dr. Bevan convincingly demonstrated that with the development of digital technologies this is no longer the case.

Following an introductory presentation, members of the workshop got involved with imaging some items from the Rylands’ Collections. Using the Infrared equipment we worked with three very different items – some glazed papyri, ostraca and a page of a water-damaged manuscript. We saw the most impressive results from the ostraca, and learned a lot as we came across challenges in imaging the papyri and ‘missing’ text on the manuscript page.

The workshop was very successful and have given us a lot of food for thought. We are looking in to the possibility of adapting and acquiring some new equipment to carry out Infrared Imaging here at the Rylands.


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