Centre of Image and Material Analysis in Cultural Heritage (CIMA)

Federica Cappa [1]
Simon Brenner [2]

[1] Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien
[2] Vienna University of Technology

Fachgebiet: Image and Material Analysis
Was ist es: The Centre of Image and Material Analysis in Cultural Heritage (CIMA) was established at the beginning of 2014 by members of three disciplines. Today, the centre brings together the expertise of five: Philology (University of Vienna), Computer science (Vienna University of Technology), Chemistry and Microbiology (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) as well as conservation-restoration-science (Danube-University Krems) representing a unique facility with an interdisciplinary approach for the investigation of cultural heritage objects. Within this project, historical written manuscripts from Austrian and foreign libraries, archives and other depositories have been examined, amongst others the Austrian National Library, Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the Austrian State Archives (Österreichisches Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv). The selection comprises mainly Slavic, Greek and Latin illuminated manuscripts as well as palimpsests deriving from the 8th to the 14th century. The scientific investigations aim at the determination of the materials (parchment, inks and pigments) and microorganisms (molds, fungi, etc.) present on the folios of the manuscripts. Photographic documentation, Multi-Spectral Imaging and various post-processing methods are used to increase the legibility of degraded writings, while special software is applied for writer identification and layout analysis, and Optical Character Recognition serves to read the extant texts.