From Wired: Robot Scans Ancient Manuscript in 3-D.
After a thousand years stuck on a dusty library shelf, the oldest copy of Homer’s Iliad is about to go into digital circulation.
A team of scholars traveled to a medieval library in Venice to create an ultra-precise 3-D copy of the ancient manuscript — complete with every wrinkle, rip and imperfection — using a laser scanner mounted on a robot arm.
A high-resolution, 3-D copy of the entire 645-page parchment book, plus a searchable transcription, will be made available online under a Creative Commons license.
The Venetus A is the oldest existing copy of Homer’s Iliad and the primary source for all modern editions of the poem. It lives in Venice at the ancient Public Library of St. Mark. It is easily damaged. Few people have seen it. The last photographic copy was made in 1901. [continue]