FragmEndoscopy: Medieval fragments in early modern book spines
During the early modern period, many medieval manuscripts were cut up into strips of parchment which were reused to reinforce the bindings of newly printed books. Until recently, these reused pieces of medieval manuscripts only came to light when the early modern book binding was damaged and/or subjected to restoration. But new technologies provide new opportunities.
A wealth of historical heritage is hidden in early modern book bindings, as pieces of parchment from medieval manuscripts were often reused to reinforce the binding mechanism. There is one problem, however: this important material is inaccessible without damaging the early modern book or using time-consuming and expensive scanning techniques. This project experiments with an innovative, fast and affordable solution to this problem. It exploits the natural mechanics of the early modern book through a technology also used by doctors, plumbers and car mechanics: endoscopy. Hidden information can then be revealed without damaging the book.