Collaborative Planning and Research Exploration: Digital Restoration of Asian Antiquities

Grants and Contracts Details


This project will plan and execute a pilot study with partners at the National Palace Museum (NPM) in Taiwan. The goal is to explore the application of digitization and digital restoration techniques, developed by the PI and his research team, in the context of the collections at the NPM. The PI has pioneered the use of non-invasive analysis techniques (micro-CT, multi-spectral imaging, and registered shape-acquisition and shape-restoration) as applied to badly damaged and difficult to handle artifacts. In particular, these techniques have led to discoveries about the structure and contents of fragments of text that cannot be physically opened, as well as methods for the non-invasive analysis and digital restoration of damaged materials. The NPM is regarded as one of the foremost museums in Asia. Its collections contain priceless and unique manuscripts and artifacts from eras spanning Asian pre-history up to the present day. NPM staff are eager to learn about and apply new methods to the collections, while remaining ever mindful of the importance of preservation, access, and conservation. Through this collaboration there is an opportunity for new discoveries through the application of existing methods to specific NPMmaterials, as well as the promise of new techniques that could be designed specifically to solve problems with unique objects within the NPM collection. Intellectual Merit: This collaboration will advance our understanding of how state-of-the-art hardware and algorithms for digitization and digital restoration could be applied to damaged and unique materials in the NPM collection. Through planning and then a follow-on pilot study supported by this project, we will bring new technological opportunities to the staff of the NPM. The application of current techniques to specific manuscripts and artifacts within the NPM collection has the potential to lead to new discoveries and to facilitate greater access and understanding of certain material. In addition, our research team will continue to learn how the NPM intends to develop its digital assets for study, preservation, and access. Broader Impact: We believe this collaboration can lead to broad impact because of the potential of the technology itself to lead to new discoveries, as well as through application to a broader range of materials within the NPM collection. The Taiwanese have invested in the Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program (TELDAP), which has led to broad public interest in and support of digitization and access. Application to new materials, items that would become more broadly accessible, and renewed scholarship in areas of historical importance could follow from this work. Keywords: Digitization; Digital Restoration; Micro-CT; Manuscript; Multi-spectral; Visualization
Effective start/end date9/1/118/31/14


  • National Science Foundation: $94,301.00


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