Filed under: Commentary, Technology, Training, Workshops | Tags: Digital Conservation, Digital Preservation, Preservation, reflectance imaging, Reflectance Transformation Imaging, RTI, Technology, virtual archaeology
By Guest Blogger E. Keats Webb
Over the past three months I have been interning with Senior Conservator, Melvin Wachowiak, at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) exploring advanced imaging techniques for research and preservation of the collections focusing mostly on the Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) method. We started in September with an African leather shoulder bag, the RTI enhancing the faint tooling and degradation on the surface. In October we imaged a writing slate from the 1600s found in an archeological excavation of a well at the site of Jamestown, Virginia. RTI proved an excellent tool in interpreting the drawings and writings that are found on both surfaces of the slate and at all orientations. Other types of objects that we have explored include paper “squeezes” (molds taken from stone inscriptions), oil paintings, a jawbone, ebony and ivory inlaid cabinet doors and a daguerreotype. We work alongside scientists and conservators on a daily basis at the Museum Conservation Institute, and RTI complements the studies happening within our labs along with other advanced imaging techniques used for research and preservation.
Set-up for the RTI of the Jamestown Slate.
E. Keats Webb left, Melvin Wachowiak right; Photo: Charles Durfor
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