Hyperspectral imaging in art and archaeology

Preservation of cultural inheritance like paintings, manuscripts, maps, and old photos through documenting and transforming to digital form for archives, research, conservation, or for display is increasing remarkably. Museum laboratories and university researchers use a wider range of analytical instruments to study collections. There is a need to study, for example, materials like pigments, dyes, and binding media. These are not only to observe possible degradation or changes due to aging or environmental conditions but also to reveal the artist’s painting technique and methods used in the work of art.

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is gaining wide acceptance as one of the most valuable optical tools for art archiving and restoration. As a non-invasive and non-destructive imaging technique, hyperspectral imaging is safe for even the most fragile samples. It is used remotely to scan all parts of the sample with a high spatial resolution (down to 15 µm pixel size). HSI records both spatial and spectral information, which can be used to classify the chemical, physical, and/or biological properties of the object.

In the visible range, it gives improved precision in color measurement for recording pigment color-change, which is essential for conservation. In near-infrared, the information hidden behind the outer layer or written text that has deteriorated and faded under environmental conditions may be revealed. Besides, fluorescence investigation is prone to highlight different solvent and binders.

Above all, there are many other applications and application fields where Specim cameras are and could be used. Specim keeps this in mind, providing researchers with performant and highly flexible instruments, allowing scientists to break the boundaries of the current knowledge. To ensure customer success, Specim also offers well established after-sales support as well as online and onsite training concepts based on customer needs.

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