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"The Promise of Virtual Unwrapping: Reading the Invisible Library" - W.Brent Seales Webinar

Progress over the past decade in the digitization and analysis of text found in cultural objects (inscriptions, manuscripts, scrolls) has led to new methods for reading the “invisible library." This talk by Brent Seales, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, explains the development of non-invasive methods, showing results from restoration projects on Homeric manuscripts, Herculaneum material, and Dead Sea scrolls.  Premised on “virtual unwrapping” as an engine for discovery, the presentation culminates in a new approach where machine learning and cloud computing become a crucial part of the imaging pipeline. This talk will explore the promise of virtual unwrapping and related applications, and will make the case that virtual unwrapping may indeed be the pathway for rescuing still-readable text from some of the most stubbornly damaged materials, like the enigmatic Herculaneum scrolls.