Friday, May 22, 2009
Technology Saves Literary Treasures
While many book lovers lament the current age of digitization, others see it as an opportunity to save literary treasures. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, new technologies allow us to decipher ancient documents that were previously unreadable, including those "blackened in fires or by chemical erosion, painted over or simply too fragile to unroll." Additionally, digitization of physical documents offers a way to preserve valuable documents from wars, political instability, natural disasters, and collapsing archives buildings. The ongoing "digital arms race" has uncovered such works as an alternate version of the Greek play Medea, a Syriac manuscript of a 12th-century account of the Crusades, and papyrus fragments from rolls that were stuffed inside mummified Egyptian crocodiles in the 1st century B.C.