Image, Text, Interpretation: e-Science, Technology and Documents

Image, Text, Interpretation: e-Science, Technology and Documents

The four-year project, being undertaken at the University of Oxford with input from University College London, is funded under the AHRC-EPSRC-JISC Arts and Humanities e-Science Initiative, and ran until the end of 2011.

The project worked on creating tools which can aid the reading of damaged texts like the stilus tablets from Vindolanda. Furthermore, the project explored how an Interpretation Support System (ISS) can be used in the day-to-day reading of ancient documents and keep track of how the documents are interpreted and read. A combination of image processing tools and an ontology based support system was developed to facilitate experts by tracking their developing hypotheses.

As well as the creation of tools, the system suggested alternative readings (based on linguistic and palaeographic data) as they undertake the complex reading process, aiming to speed the process of understanding a text. The project also aimed to investigate how the resulting images, image tools, and data sets can be shared between scholars.

The Project Investigator is Professor Alan Bowman from the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD) at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, in co-operation with Professor Sir Michael Brady (Dept of Engineering Science, University of Oxford and the Wolfson Medical Vision Laboratory) and Dr. Melissa Terras (School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, UCL, London).

Dr. Ségolène Tarte is the Research Assistant on the project and is situated at the Oxford e-Research Centre. Henriette Roued Olsen is the Doctoral Student on the project and situated within the Classics Centre at the University of Oxford.