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VMs: RE: Rosette photos
> [Erni:] In going over the SID files, I was disappointed to see
> that [...] the Northwest edge and the seam between the South and
> South East rosettes is curled under
I seem to recall the Beinecke staff and/or visitors saying some pages
of the VMS, including the rosette fold-out, are in very bad condition
and cannot be uncurled/unfolded without damaging the book.
For that reason, they no longer allow public access to the book,
I gather. At some point they planned to send it for restoration,
but that would cost lots of money and time (a year or so), and they
have other books with higher priority in their queue.
That is a pity, because the main thing we learned so far from the
high-res SIDs is that 450 dpi are not enough -- we need at least
double that, and preferably some microscopic images too!
For Beinecke, acquiring those images with their overhead line-at-a
time scanner was not a trivial matter: it took lots of staff time and
put a lot of stress on the book. But now we could get even better
quality in a few minutes by using a semiprofessional digital camera,
with no more trauma to the book than what would be inflicted by a
quick visual inspection. If we photographed a 3×4 inch area with an 8
megapixel camera, we would get about 800 dpi.
Sensible museums nowadays allow patrons to photograph their holdings,
as long as they use no flash or tripods. Perhaps manuscript libraries
like Beinecke can be convinced to do the same?
I presume that tripods are banned from museums mainly because of the
inconvenience they cause to other patrons, and the risk of damage to
the exhibits. If so, in the case of a manuscript (a single patron, in
a separate room, watched by library staff) perhaps one could
negotiate the use of a small tabletop tripod. Flash also has the
inconvenience factor, and it definitely damages the document by UV
exposure; but, for a digital camera, the normal room lighting should
be enough, provided that one uses a tripod and time-delay to avoid
All the best,
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