KU Leuven Libraries is happy to present a new online platform for accessing its fragile heritage collections online: EXPO.
EXPO offers virtual exhibitions and a gallery of individual collection items, and informs about digitization and imaging projects at the library.
The virtual exhibitions connect collection items with other works and may or may not be a continuation of actual library exhibitions. Exceptional works from the KU Leuven Libraries’ collections are highlighted in the gallery, which gathers both recognized masterpieces and other fascinating works with a unique story. The project pages introduce the website visitor to ongoing and past activities in the field of digitization. Both initiatives aiming at the digital disclosure of the library collections as well as projects in the context of research and technical imaging are presented.
EXPO is the result of a close collaboration between various departments. Exhibition curators, collection keepers, and other heritage collaborators and partners create the exhibitions and fill the gallery with collection highlights. LIBIS carried out the technical implementation of the site as part of the Heron (Heritage Online) service. The site is based on the open source web publishing platform Omeka. For the site’s development, LIBIS created a direct connection between Omeka, the library management system Alma and the preservation system Teneo/Rosetta, allowing curators to work within a single, integrated environment. The coordination of EXPO is taken on by KU Leuven Libraries Digitisation & Document Delivery. This department manages digitisation projects, executes digitisation in its Imaging Lab and supports research projects with bespoke digitisation techniques and the specific expertise required for scientific imaging.
The Imaging Lab is partner in the ArtGarden research project. The project aims to test and develop an efficient (“best practices”) matrix (tool – protocol) for monitoring, imaging and documenting (art-technical), fragile historic mixed media objects. This is used to facilitate decision making during conservation and preservation practice.
The Imaging Lab is involved to investigate the historical materials and techniques through scientific imaging tools such as multi-spectral imaging or the Microdome (developed within the RICH project)
The focus of the project is the guiding and evaluation of conservation treatment and the transportation, display in a museum environment and long-term storage of complex degraded historic mixed media artefacts. Up until now, guidelines have concentrated on one material characteristic. The complex nature of a large number of historic mixed-media artefacts in museum collections is more challenging and less developed. The ArtGarden project combines documentation, conservation and preservation protocols (Terminology defined by ICOM-CC, New Delhi, 2008) to create an innovative tool to support collection care, maintenance, display and valorization of complex historic collection artefacts.
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, KIK/IRPA
University of Antwerp
A project funded by Belspo/BRAIN.
Pieter Bruegel, Justitia, S II 133 707 (detail), 1559, 224 x 295 mm, KBR Print Room, Brussels, Imaging with Multi-Spectral Microdome (RICH project)
The Imaging Lab is one of the partners in FINGERPRINT: an interdisciplinary collection- and data management project, involving art history, art technical research, digital imaging, image processing, conservation science.
The aim is to monitor and evaluate the phases of the genesis of a print, from the unique preparatory drawings over proof impressions to later states and editions. This will be accomplished through advanced digital imaging, statistical processing and laboratory analyses.
The graphic works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1520-1569) in the collection of the Royal Library of Belgium is the test corpus for the FINGERPRINT project. The tools and methods developed to gather and treat the data will be designed to answer specific questions regarding the prints and drawings from this corpus. These questions concern both collection management, technical art history and conservation science as well as production, distribution and consumption history of the corpus of artifacts of Bruegel. Continue reading
Mayer van den Bergh Breviary, MBB 0618, Folio 2R
Each manuscript reacts differently during photography. As a result, the first question to ask when starting the digitisation of manuscripts is which setup to use. For the digitisation of the of the famous Mayer van den Bergh Breviary, we compared the results of two lens and camera systems, Continue reading
Codex Eyckensis A
In close collaboration with Prof. Lieve Watteeuw (Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art), the Imaging Lab meticulously digitised the Codex Eyckensis. The codex is the oldest preserved “book” produced in the Low Countries, the wider area encompassing contemporary Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Codex can now be accessed online through LIBIS. Continue reading
Every now and then, a true masterpiece enters the Imaging Lab at the University Library of the KU Leuven. Currently on the Conservation Copy Stand is an early sixteenth-century masterwork of Flemish Illumination in Ghent-Bruges style: the famous Mayer van den Bergh Breviary. Continue reading
One of the projects currently running in the Imaging Lab is the digitisation of some cool statistics, a Belgian population survey from 1896. The binding of the books is too tight to capture the inner columns holding relevant data, so we decided to unbound them Continue reading