Surface and Texture for Museums and Galleries: Archiving 2016

imaging.org_conf_archiving2016IS&T’s Archiving Conference, 19-22 April 2016
National Archives, Washington DC

Surface and texture information is important for the study of many types of historical material. When combined with image capture, three-dimensional visualization can reveal hidden characteristics, and Archiving 2016 will provide opportunities to learn about two methods, used in museums and galleries.


Rendering using studio lights at 45° from the left and right

Four-Light Imaging (4LI) uses polarized light sources to capture information about the microstructure (impasto) of artwork. The full (multi-) spectral nature of the surface reflectance is measured, which allows computer ‘re-lighting’ for different illumination and viewing conditions. Eight images are collected for a given object, and automated software displays diffuse color and surface-normal images.

Prof. Roy Berns, Rochester Institute of Technology, will be offering his Four-Light Imaging short course.


From Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) uses up to 50 still images while moving the light source. The resulting data are displayed using interactive software that simulates viewing the object at different angles as you might if holding it. The method has been applied to a range projects, including early photographs at The Smithsonian, Diego Rivera murals in San Francisco and ancient tablets at The Louvre.

Carla Schroer and Mark Mudge, Cultural Heritage Imaging, will be presenting the short course, Computational Photography Techniques for Cultural Heritage Documentation and Archiving.

Spectral Imaging: An additional, short course that complements these is to be presented by Fanella France and Meghan Wilson, Library of Congress, Spectral Imaging – Capture and Processing. In a previous post I described the planned sessions on multi-spectra imaging at the conference.

Archiving 2016
Preliminary Program

Archiving 2016 Conference in Washington DC

 IS&T will be holding its annual Archiving Conference  19-22 April 2016 at the US National Archives, Washington, DC.


Courtesy of Erin Allen, from her blog post, DICE-y Digitization

This Conference brings together an international community of imaging experts, curators, managers, and researchers from libraries, archives, and museums to explore digitization of our cultural heritage, and archiving.

It includes keynotes presentations, short courses, and Behind-the-Scenes tours at the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress and the National Archives (NARA).

This map image is shown with a object-level target used for evaluation and control of image scanning at the US Library of Congress (Courtesy of Erin Allen, from her blog post, DICE-y Digitization)


Spectral Imaging of Manuscripts: Recovery of the Past and Preservation for the Future, Roger Easton, Rochester Institute of Technology and Keith Knox, Consultant

Implementing Practices that Lead to Use or Reuse of your Collections, Emily Gore, Digital Public Library of America

 Topics includeimage

  • Multi-spectral imaging
  • Asset Management
  • Preservation Formats
  • Image Quality Standards and Quality Assurance
  • Imaging Strategies and Workflows
  • Metadata Standards and Implementation
  • Color Science and Analysis Tools

Download Preliminary Programme here

Conference Registration form here

In praise of monochrome


Praça do Comércio, (Commerce Square) Lisbon Portugal

Another example of a travel photo improved* by algorithm – Google Pictures Assistant. My original was fine, but this version jumps out, as least to me. This was taken last September in Lisbon.

It is memorable because of a great late-afternoon walk, and a chance meeting. Minutes later I heard someone call my name from a restaurant on the far right of the square. It was a friend from Rochester, NY. He was passing through on the way to a conference.
*labelled a stylized photo, although I am not sure which style. I don’t think the optical falloff in the corners is due to my lens.

Image Quality Testing course at Electronic Imaging 2016

Untitled 1Don Williams and I will be presenting an introductory course on image quality testing next month in San Francisco. We adopt a two-hour format, providing a background for those interested in other courses on, e.g.,  Color Calibration, Image Noise Analysis, or 3D acquisition. IS&T’s Electronic Imaging Symposium will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Union Square.

camera_fig1_smallUsing an informal seminar style, we introduce the basics that are often assumed in advanced classes. The what and why, before we get to how to.

  • Why measure Imaging performance for image capture?
  • Standards versus Guidelines
  • Benchmarking competing systems
  • Color test charts, and standard reporting
  • Reference software: free and commercial
  • Sources of variability and measurement error

Course Title: EI01: Introduction to Image Quality Testing: Targets, Software, and Standards*
Sunday, February 14, 2016, 8:00 – 10:00 am
Course Length: 2 hours

Intended Audience
This course is intended for a wide audience: image scientists, quality engineers, and others evaluating digital camera and scanner performance. No background in imaging performance (optical distortion, color-error, MTF, etc.) evaluation will be assumed.

*prices for all increase by $50 after January 14, 2016

Seeing is not always believing

While in Lisbon two weeks ago, I was struck by this illusion of waves in Rossio Square (which many others have noted, of course). Even when standing on the flat surface, things appear undulating if you look away from your feet.

What I also find as interesting, when reviewing my photos is the impression that the walking family appears to have been added from another image. That being my ‘explanation’ for the illusion. They were not. Seeing is not always believing.

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio Square), Lisbon, Portugal

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio Square), Lisbon, Portugal

Imaging Guidelines, FADGI and Archiving 2016


Imaging Performance for Cultural Institutions:  Guidelines for measurement of imaging performance are often presented at IS&T’s Conferences, and Archiving 2016 will be no exception. Recent developments have included US FADGI (Federal Agencies Digital Guidelnes Initiative), led by the Library of Congress’s Office of Strategic Services. In addition, National Library of the Netherlands has publish the Metamorfoze Preservation Imaging Guidelines.


Milford and Pembrokeshire Bank cheque, 1809, courtesy of Mrs. Winifred Joyce Burns

FADGI Comments Invited: An updated version was posted for comments a few days ago. According to the editor, Tom Rieger ( US Library of Congress), ‘Our goal is to create a system that can be easily understood and implemented … from the largest institutions to the smallest historical societies.’

FADGI & Courses at Archiving 2016: These guidelines and imaging standards, and how they are applied will be covered in short courses presented by Don Williams and me at the conference next April in Washington DC. We have fun presenting and leading a seminar-style discussion.

More Information:
Archiving 2016
FADGI Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials
Metamorfoze Preservation Imaging Guidelines

Archiving 2016 and Multispectral Imaging

imaging_org_conf_archiving2IS&T is organizing the Archiving 2016 Conference, to held in Washington DC next April. Topics range from creating and managing collections, to technology and standards for digital (e.g. images) objects. The abstract deadline in 4 Oct. 2015. Info. here


UV image reveals regions of the Magna Carta

Multispectral Imaging : One topic for this conference is multispectral imaging. For example, at Archiving 2015, Fanella France (US Library of Congress) presented on Integrated Heritage Science Datasets. These often  include multispectral image records, and the results of technical analyses based on them.

British Library: Results from multispectral imaging of the 800 year old Magna Carta were on display at the recently completed exhibition at the British Library. This was carried out by the Centre for Conservation and the Scientific Research Lab., and is described by Christina Duffy, here.

The Laboratory uses a MegaVison (exhibitor at Archiving 2015) camera with 14 spectral bands from near ultraviolet to near infrared.


From the Hebraic Manuscript Digitisation Project, the British Library

Connection: Archiving 2016 will be held in the Archives 1 Building in Washington DC, where the US Constitution and Bill of Rights are displayed. Both were influenced by the Magna Carta and part of the Magna Carta: Law Liberty, Legacy exhibition. I was rather surprised that two of King John’s teeth were also on display in London. I understand they were removed post-mortem, so they are not the result of early English dentistry.

Further information:
Archiving 2016 Conference, 19-22 April 2016
US Labrary of Congress, Multi- and Hyperspectral Imaging