A Research & Development collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and the Factum Foundation
ARCHiOx (Analysing and Recording Cultural Heritage in Oxford) is an exciting new project partnership between the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and the Factum Foundation, generously funded by The Helen Hamlyn Trust. The project will enable the practical transfer of knowledge and technology from the Factum Foundation to the Bodleian, including the permanent transfer of equipment and software to the Libraries.
The Bodleian Libraries are the integrated research libraries of the University of Oxford, world-renowned as among the leading repositories of the written record of civilisation. Founded in 1602 by Sir Thomas Bodley, the Bodleian has acted as a library of legal deposit for over 400 years, and its collections form one of the world’s most important coherent bodies of documentary heritage, including items inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register. The Bodleian Libraries are committed to enabling access to these rich collections through digitization and delivery of collections information via a number of digital platforms and resources.
ARCHiOX will provide a free exchange of knowledge and approaches between the academic and technical team at the Bodleian and the Factum Foundation experts as we explore and demonstrate the potential of applying non-contact digital technologies to the study of materials held by the Bodleian Libraries. This pilot 12-month project will be an extension of proven techniques to enable innovative research, preservation, and discovery.
ARCHiOx will initially focus on the recording of marks on selected items from the Bodleian Libraries’ unique special collections, using 2.5D scanning of relief surfaces with the prototype version of the Photometric Stereo photographic system (developed by Jorge Cano, Matt Marshall and the team at Factum Arte) as well as 3D scanning of relief surfaces using the Lucida 3D Scanner (conceived and developed by artist-engineer Manuel Franquelo with Factum Arte) In addition to providing new research material for scholars and identifying future avenues for investigation, the aim is also to explore the delivery of the 3D data outputs via the Bodleian’s IIIF services thereby identifying pathways for delivering future content. ARCHiOx will therefore explore and include high-resolution recording in 3D and colour, elements of digital restoration, data storage and management, research into the inclusion of 3D data in the IIIF framework, and the sharing of data and online engagement with 3D information. It is envisaged that some of the outputs of the project will, where appropriate, be delivered via Digital Bodleian, the Libraries’ flagship platform for digitized image collections.
The Selene Stereo Photometric System © Matt Marshall for Factum Foundation
Colour information of one of the Sanskrit palm leaf manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries, acquired with the Photometric Scanner © Factum Foundation
Shaded render of the surface of one of the Sanskrit palm leaf manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries, acquired with the Photometric Scanner © Factum Foundation