RICH: new research prototype installed. Mounting the Microdome on the Conservation Copy Stand


Manfred Mayer (University Graz), Marc Proesmans (ESAT, KU Leuven) and Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare, KU Leuven) inspecting the new Microdome and Conservation Copy Stand after successful integration.

In the workflow of the RICH project – on April 14-15, Ir. Manfred Mayer (University Graz) installed a Conservation Book Cradle in the Digital Lab of the KU Leuven, University Library in collaboration with the RICH project team. The well-known Graz book conservation cradle has been specially adapted and reinforced to mount the new “Microdome”, the third generation KU Leuven dome prototype the RICH project is developing. To guaranty the manipulation and integrity of the historical documents during the RICH imaging, the camera-arm can move in an X, Y and Z-axis, so we can position the Microdome very precisely above the document area we are imaging. Precisely, the Microdome hovers about 5 mm above the paper or parchment to be monitored.

The Microdome is smaller than the Minidome we were using up to now (with a diameter of 600 mm). It has a diameter of 300 mm and is fitted with 220 white LED-lamps. A slice (30 °) of the Microdome can be taken away, to monitor and image into the binding and the gathering folds of historic books. The frame above hemisphere enables to mount the Microdome onto the Conservation Copy Stand.

The new tool is flexible and able work in situ historic library and archive collections: we can mount the Microdome on a sturdy tripod or studio stand in order to position it in relation of the object we are monitoring (manuscripts, panel painting, wood, …).

In May 2014 we will test the new Microdome, after the software has been adapted to the new position of the lights.


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