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3D Visualization of Historical Bookbinding Structures

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Presentation given at the Graduate Student Colloquium, Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2009, University of Victoria, BC, Canada, 11 June 2009.

Presentation given at the Graduate Student Colloquium, Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2009, University of Victoria, BC, Canada, 11 June 2009.


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  • 1. 3D Visualization of Historical Bookbinding Structures
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009,
    University of Victoria, BC, Canada
    Alberto Campagnolo
    Candidate: MA in Digital Culture and Technology
    King’s College London
    alberto.campagnolo@gmail.com
    alberto.campagnolo@kcl.ac.uk
  • 2. Research questions
    What are the advantages of a three-dimensional visualization of bookbinding structures over the usual methods for the recording of these structures?
    How can this be achieved?
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    2
  • 3. Bookbinding structures
    There are many ways in which the pages of a codex can be bound together and attached to the cover.
    Different cultures have developed different kinds of bookbinding structures.
    Different structures have appeared in different ages.
    We don’t have many descriptions of how books were bound; the items themselves are the sole witnesses.
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    3
    Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Ms patr. 5
  • 4. Archaeology of the book
    Traditionally the study of books as artefacts was focused
    on the text
    and on the decoration of the bindings
    During the 20th century a new interest in the art of bookbinding was set in motion
    Archaeology of the book and history of bookbinding structures
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    4
    ©George Boudalis 2006
  • 5. Archaeology of the book
    The researcher examines the artefact in the manner in which it was constructed
    Data are collected in a way that would make it possible to reconstruct the object
    Terminologies can prove to be hesitant, partial, and conflicting when dealing with complex structures
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    5
    • Drawings generally accompany the collected data because considered self-explanatory for complex three-dimensional structures
    ©George Boudalis 2006
  • 6. Examples of structures
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    6
    ©George Boudalis 2006
    ©George Boudalis 2006
    ©George Boudalis 2006
    ©George Boudalis 2006
    ©George Boudalis 2006
  • 7. Towards a standard of description
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    7
    http://www.ligatus.org.uk/
    • XML-based description and glossary of Byzantine bookbinding structures derived from Dr Pickwoad efforts to consistently describe bindings
  • Towards a 3D Visualization of bookbinding structures
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    8
    • Using snippets of the Ligatus XML description of a bookbinding
    • 8. Transforming it into an X3D-based visualization to enhance communication
  • Examples of 3D visualization of books
    Books are 3D objects
    There have been some attempts to visualize books in 3D within a computer environment with three main approaches:
    3D electronic workspaces (e.g. WebBook and Web Forager)
    3D virtual books (e.g. 3D Book Visualizer and 3Book)
    Museum-oriented digital books/facsimiles (e.g. Turning the pages™)
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    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    9
  • 9. Examples of 3D visualization of books
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    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    10
    3Book
    WebBook
    3D Book Visualizer
    Turning the pages™
  • 10. Conclusions
    • Bookbinding structures are important aspects of the history of the book and provide very useful information about the history of each object
    • 11. Data can be easily organized into hierarchical structures and databases, but in many instances it is necessary to resort to drawings or other kinds of visualization
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    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
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    • The use of computer technologies to record and visualize historical bookbinding structures is an important tool for researchers that can add value to the original items themselves
  • Selected Bibliography
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    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    12
    CARD S. K., HONG L., MACKINLAY J.D., HUAI-HSIN Chi E., 3Book: a scalable 3D virtual book, in Human Factors in Computing Systems: Proceedings of the CHI '04 Conference, Vienna, 2004, pp. 1095-98
    CARD S.K., ROBERTSON G.G., YORK W., The WebBook and the Web Forager: An Information Workspace for the World-Wide Web, in Human Factors in Computing Systems: Proceedings of the CHI '96 Conference, New York, ACM, 1996.
    CHU Y., BAINBRIDGE D., JONES M., WITTEN I.H., Realistic books: a bizarre homage to an obsolete medium?, in Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, Tucson, AZ, 2004, pp. 78-86
    DEBRAY R., The Book as Symbolic Object, in The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffrey Nunberg, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1996, pp. 139-51
    DEEGAN, Marilyn, and TANNER, Simon, Conversion of Primary Sources, in A companion to Digital Humanities, edited by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2004, pp. 488-504.
    DONDIS, Donis A., A primer of visual literacy, Cambridge, MA, MIT press, 1974.
    DUGUID P., Material Matters: The Past and Futurology of the Book, in The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffrey Nunberg, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1996, pp. 63-101.
    IVINS, William M., Jr. Prints and Visual Communication, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1953.
    LANDOW G. P., Twenty minutes into the future, or how are we moving beyond the book?, in The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffrey Nunberg, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1996, pp. 209-37.
    PICKWOAD, Nicholas, The condition survey of the manuscripts in the monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai, «The Paper Conservator», Vol. 28, 2004, pp. 33-61.
    ROBERTS C. H., SKEAT T. C., The Birth of the Codex, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1983
    SHARPE, John L. (ed.), Bibliographia 14, elementa ad librorum studia pertinentia. Roger Powell, the complete binder, Turnhout Belgium, Brepols, 1996.
    SHARPE, John L., Observation on Data Collection. Drawing and Recording Information, in Contributi e testimonianze, a cura di Maria Cristina Misiti, Spoleto, Accademia Spoletina, 2000.
    VELIOS, Athanasios, PICKWOAD, Nicholas, The Database of the St. Catherine’s Library Conservation Project in Sinai, Egypt, Conference Paper, IS&T Archiving 2005 Conference, April 26-29, 2005, pp. 73-8.
    VELIOS, Athanasios, PICKWOAD, Nicholas, Current use and future development of the database of the St. Catherine’s Library Conservation Project «The Paper Conservator», Vol. 29, 2005, pp. 39-53.
  • 12. Questions?
    11/06/2009
    Graduate Student Colloquium presentation DHSI 2009, University of Victoria, BC
    13
    alberto.campagnolo@gmail.com
    alberto.campagnolo@kcl.ac.uk