Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Intersection of Cyberspace and History

Last Friday, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal. I found it online today, but I am not sure how long non-subscribers will be able to access it.

The focus of the article was on the use of technology to both save (digitally) old manuscripts, some of which are so damaged that they will be unusable in mere years, and also to use technology such as CT Scans to read such documents as recycled parchment (a common practice). In some instances we can now read the documents that were "wiped out" to make room for the new documents. Scans have even allowed us to read scrolls that were blackened by fire, and scientists hope to read scrolls destroyed by volcanic eruption.

The best part is that the article has links to various online sites where you can view some of these treasures, in addition to other treasures such as Christopher Columbus's diary and one of Leonardo da Vinci notebooks.

Incredible. I know I am far from the only blogger to draw attention to this article. It deserves all the publicity it can get.

This research and preservation work requires a lot of funding, and I hope these historians can find it. Many people do not realize how precious and fragile history is. And what are we without history? Think about it.

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