The Technology behind the 1641 Depositions Project

How did we digitise the 1641 Depositions?

This material is both unique and susceptible to damage. As a consequence it could only be safely imaged using an overhead digital array that conforms to archival standards, by placing no stress on the binding, nor using a glass plate to forcibly flatten the pages. It also required using cold lamps that emit no harmful UV, infrared light or heat exposure. Without correct lighting the source would be damaged, shortening its life considerably. But without professional lighting the material would not be sufficiently illuminated to capture the often-faded text, and hence would be lost.

We captured the manuscript volumes using a Colour Bookeye © (BE2-SYSCL-N2), with cold-lamps using daylight emulation.  Master images were captured at 24-bit (full colour) and 600 DPI (PPI) resolution, and saved as uncompressed TIF files. Surrogate images were output at lower resolution and saved as compressed JPG files.