Published November 1, 2018 | Version v1
Presentation Open

Library of Stains

  • 1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2. Università degli Studi di Udine
  • 3. Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies
  • 4. R B Toth and Associates
  • 5. Equipoise Imaging


The Library of Stains Project, also known as Labeculae Vivae, Latin for “#stainsalive”, is using multispectral imaging to gather scientific data, drawn from stains found on parchment, paper, and bindings in medieval and early modern books.  The project, generously supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) through a Postdoctoral Fellowship Microgrant, evolved from the interests of three CLIR Postdoctoral fellows in Data Curation: Dr Erin Connelly at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS), University of Pennsylvania Libraries, whose research interests focus on medieval medicine, Dr Alberto Campagnolo at the Library of Congress, who researches the book in general and how to model the book as an object in the digital world, and Dr Heather Wacha at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose research addresses how the materiality of manuscripts informs the historical context and content of a book. Each of these academic institutions holds a significant manuscript and/or print collection and each fellow is working on digital projects that intersect with those collections in some way.

Thanks to CLIR, the Library of Stains Project was able to bring together multiple institutions and collaborators, including Dr Fenella France, Chief Preservation Officer at the Library of Congress, Michael Toth of RB Toth and Associates and Dr William Christens-Barry of Equipoise Imaging, who provided the multispectral imaging equipment, as well as invaluable guidance during the imaging process and analysis at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The data visualizations of preliminary results from a selection of manuscripts are currently hosted in Digital Mappa under the title of 'Library of Stains Project.' 



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