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Funded Projects Query Form
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Participant name: seales
Keywords: 'digital restoration initiative' (this phrase)
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University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY 40506-0004)
William Brent Seales (Project Director: May 2020 to present)
The Digital Restoration Initiative: A Cultural Heritage Imaging and Analysis Lab

Renovation and expansion of the facilities of the Digital Restoration Initiative (DRI), a cultural heritage imaging and analysis lab, as well as the acquisition of imaging tools and equipment. The outcomes would enable the establishment of the “Ancient Worlds Now” consortium, which is dedicated to training and researching non-invasive analysis of delicate materials that hitherto have eluded research.

Advancing technologies now make it possible to image some of the world’s most fragile heritage items without inflicting harm, providing scholarly access to rich visual representations for study. Unfortunately, no facility exists specifically for the non-invasive imaging of friable objects or for investigating new technical approaches to the unique challenges they pose. The Digital Restoration Initiative (DRI), led by Professor Brent Seales at the University of Kentucky, seeks funding to fill this gap by creating a highly specialized, object-centered digital humanities laboratory focused on the non-destructive imaging and “virtual unwrapping” of damaged manuscripts and other delicate heritage objects, such as scrolls from Herculaneum.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Challenge Programs

Totals (matching):
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (offered)
$138,305 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/30/2026


University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY 40506-0004)
William Brent Seales (Project Director: June 2018 to present)
Reading the Invisible Library: Rescuing the Hidden Texts of Herculaneum

The continued development of computerized techniques to recover writings from the Herculaneum library, the entire collections of which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BCE.

Using authentic materials from national libraries in Italy and France, this project will apply proven computerized techniques and innovate new approaches to reveal the hidden writing in the most iconic collection of damaged humanities manuscripts--the scrolls from Herculaneum.

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

Project fields:
Ancient Literature; Classics

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

Digital Humanities

Totals (outright + matching):
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2022