The Archimedes Palimpsest

Archimedes Palimpsest Metadata Standard

Digital imaging of the Archimedes Palimpsest has offered a complex set of metadata challenges. The thousand-year-old manuscript is yielding a large and rich volume of data. The Archimedes Palimpsest team has developed the Archimedes Palimpsest Metadata Standard, using the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set as the basis for the core identification metadata. Spatial metadata needed to support a complex range of imagery data has also required the integration of metadata standards based on those originally developed for geospatial imaging from space. The result is a unique manuscript imaging metadata standard to support digital "scriptospatial" data accessible by a range of users from storage devices or the web.

Archimedes Palimpsest Transcription Annotations Metadata Standard

The annotations of the Archimedes Palimpsest transcriptions must also meet similar metadata standards as the images to allow for the spatial integration of the transcriptions with the images. This current draft of the Transcription Annotations Metadata Standard is being used for the Alpha data, and will be revised based on lessons learned from this proof of concept.

Archimedes Palimpsest Metadata Standard XRF Extensions

The X-Ray Florescence (XRF) imaging studies of the Archimedes Palimpsest required a unique set of metadata extensions to capture the new data elements for different imaging techniques, energy levels and data formats. The XRF imaging team refined their list of additional metadata elements in a dynamic process over the course of around the clock imaging sessions. This data element set was refined and reviewed by the XRF team to produce the current draft of the Archimedes Palimpsest Metadata Standard XRF Extensions.

Archimedes Palimpsest Images Data Sheet

Six years of imaging has yielded large amounts of imaging data on the Archimedes Palimpsest, in addition to conservation data. For details on the size of the Archimedes images and the total data set, please click here to see the data sheet. Additional information on the data, metadata and standards will be added at a later date for information providers and libraries interested in hosting copies of the Archimedes Palimpsest data set.

Archimedes Palimpsest Pseudocolor Image Processing Software

A multispectral linear mixing model has been adapted to digitally separate the two inks and reveal the erased writings. A pseudocolor technique was also developed to combine the fraction maps of the inks and the parchment together to make the erased writing more legible.