“Imagine worldwide how a trove of hundreds of thousands of previously unknown texts could radically transform our knowledge of the past,” said University of Mississippi professor Gregory Heyworth during a recent TED Talk filmed on campus.
“Imagine what unknown classics we would discover, which would rewrite the canons of literature, history, philosophy, music or, more provocatively, that could rewrite our cultural identities, building new bridges between people and culture.”
Heyworth, a textual scientist, is on a journey to save medieval texts that have been damaged by war, water damage, mold and chemical reagents using a process involving multispectral imaging. Working beside other professors and pioneers in the digital imaging field, Heyworth has traveled to libraries both in the U.S. and aboard in an effort to preserve and reclaim numerous historical texts.
His work is known as the Lazarus Project.
You can view Heyworth’s TEDxUM talk here (http://www.ted.com/talks/gregory_heyworth_how_i_m_discovering_the_secrets_of_ancient_texts/transcript?language=en) to learn more about the process of multispectral imaging.
Heyworth’s TEDxUM talk is proving to be popular with TEDx viewers. Within hours of being posted, the video had garnered more than 38,000 views.
Heyworth shares his research with students through his classes at the university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Ole Miss students interested in the Lazarus Project can vie for positions on the imaging teams. You can see the work that they are able to do using the portable multispectral imaging lab at these links:
For more information about the Lazarus Project, visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/lazarus-project.