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5 things we’ve learned about Digital Humanities in the last 5 years

Sun, 24 May 2015 14:51:13 +0000

At the end of May, 2015, it will be exactly five years since the formal launch of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Our mission is “is to champion, catalyse, promote, facilitate, undertake, advise and publicise activities in Digital Humanities (with as wide an interpretation of that phrase as possible) throughout the founding Faculties and UCL, […]


This week: UCL Laptop Orchestra (UCLOrk) at the UCL Festival of the Arts

Mon, 18 May 2015 11:27:55 +0000

The UCL Laptop Orchestra (UCLOrk) is performing this week on Wednesday 20th May at 1pm in the Quad Events Space as part of the UCL Festival of the Arts.  The one-hour lunchtime session will comprise a lecture/recital on the history and practice of laptop orchestras, combined with performances of three pieces written by members of […]



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The UCL Centre for Digital Humanities contributes to and holds a variety of events.

Recurring events include the UCLDH Seminar series. Our events are primarily advertised right here on this page, which is syndicated in an RSS feed, but also on our DH Blog, on Twitter, and via our mailing list

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Illuminating the Herculaneum Papyri with New Digital Imaging Techniques

Start: Dec 3, 2014 5:30:00 PM

The advanced computational photographic method, Reflectance Transformation Imaging, is a powerful visualisation tool that is increasingly being applied to a range of archaeological materials. Documentary evidence, particularly damaged or other types of difficult-to-read texts, present rich areas for new insight and discovery. RTI is relatively unique among digital imaging technologies in providing ultra high resolution visualisations with virtual relighting and artificial enhancement capabilities. These tools can vastly improve legibility as well as support exploration of the entangled relationships between ancient writings and their material supports. Dissecting these relationships is particularly vital for reading and reconstructing one of the largest surviving ancient libraries in the world, namely the Herculaneum papyri. More than 2000 rolls, mostly written in Greek, were preserved through carbonisation when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. Over the past two centuries scholars have sought to unroll and read these fragile documents. Multispectral images taken more than a decade ago greatly improved their legibility but much remains to be revealed. In this lecture, Dr Kathryn Piquette will report on the outcomes of a recent Universität zu Köln pilot project involving the application of RTI to these blackened papyrus fragments. An innovation trialled during this work was the combination of RTI with infrared illumination. Dr Piquette will present key results and discuss their implications for improved readings and the associated task of scroll reconstruction. A key theoretical issue underpinning the discussion will be the contrasting notions of the digital image as a resource for interpreting past written meaning, and the more active concept of the digital image as constitutive of the interpretive process.
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