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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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New Technologies Recover Old Histories

Evening Program

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1W0055

Multispectral imaging of a Coronelli celestial globe in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice (R.B. Toth Associates)

Several years ago, Michael B. Toth, ‎president of R. B. Toth Associates, made news when he and his team of scientists helped the monks of St. Catherine’s in the Sinai, using imaging technology to reclaim precious texts. Using a new generation of this technology, they are still at it, recovering information from fire- and water-damaged manuscripts, drawings, old books, ephemera, and more.

Tonight, Toth shares highlights of recent imaging projects, from new insights into Shakespeare’s first folios and the construction of Coronelli globes to revelations about Ben Franklin found beneath an ink spill. From Venice, to Weimar, to Washington, D.C., and beyond, he and his team use state-of-the art cameras and illumination systems to coax stories from a past no longer entirely lost to us.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)