Labeculæ Vivæ: Building a Reference Library of Stains for Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts
Stains on manuscripts are signs indicative of their past lives left by time and usage. Reading these signals in concert with conventional information gathered from manuscripts can add to our understanding of the history and use of an object. This project, supported by a microgrant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, and run as a preliminary pilot study, provides an identified, open-access database of a number of commonly found stains in order to help researchers answer questions such as manuscript provenance, transmission, material culture, as well as scientific applications for arts questions and the innovative uses of multispectral imaging to acquire new knowledge. This paper presents the methodology and the results of the investigation and demonstrates best practices using the database for a diverse audience of scholars.