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The story of the past is only partly told; the record of human history is a mere fragment. Worse, those remaining artifacts that stand witness to our shared cultural heritage are under unprecedented threat from global strife and global warming.

The Lazarus Project is an interdisciplinary initiative that brings together experts in the sciences and the humanities to recover the lost stories of our collective past and fill in the gaps in the record of human knowledge. Like the Hubble telescope that peers back through eons to reveal the remotest origins of the universe, the Lazarus Project uses cutting-edge technologies, such as spectral imaging, to discover universes of hidden knowledge in the damaged and overwritten pages of medieval manuscripts, the faded surfaces of old maps, the cryptic drawings on cave walls, and the inscriptions on ancient artifacts. Our task is to use science to see the invisible, read the illegible, visualize the obscure, conserve the past, and educate the present.

The Lazarus Project is opening new frontiers in the study of manuscripts and cultural heritage objects. We employ a cutting-edge, fully transportable multispectral imaging laboratory to capture images of a manuscript or cultural heritage object, then use digital processing techniques to recover texts and images lost for centuries due to damage or deliberate erasure. Our methods are entirely non-destructive and non-invasive, and produce archival-quality images ready for study or digitization.

Because multispectral imaging technology is a new and evolving field, individual manuscript researchers and small and mid-size institutions have not had access to fully-equipped spectral imaging laboratories.

More importantly, those few multispectral labs in existence are proprietary and are not transportable. The lab owned by the Lazarus Project, however, was designed specifically to be transportable. Our goal is to provide researchers and institutions access to the lab and its staff of trained operators and image processors, anywhere in the world, and to do so free of charge. From the archives of the Vatican to the caves of Sardinia, we go where the history is.

Some Recent Projects

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Interested researchers or institutions with compelling projects are invited to contact us with a research proposal. We are happy to serve as a component of larger projects and grant proposals.