Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sacred Hindu Manuscript Images Preserved

As reported by UPI, 19th September, 2006

U.S. scientists are using modern technology to digitally restore a 700-year-old Hindu palm-leaf manuscript containing the essence of Hindu philosophy.

The project -- led by P.R. Mukund and Roger Easton, professors at the Rochester Institute of Technology -- is digitally preserving the original Hindu writings known as the Sarvamoola granthas attributed to scholar Shri Madvacharya (1238-1317).

The collection of 36 works contains the scholar's philosophy of the meaning of life and the role of God.

Heavy wooden covers sandwich the 340 palm leaves that are crumbling to dust.

The book will never be opened again unless there is a compelling reason to do so, said Mukund, because every time they do, they lose some.

Mukund -- along with Easton, who imaged the Dead Sea Scrolls; Keith Knox, an imaging senior scientist at Boeing LTS; and doctoral candidate Ajay Pasupuleti -- traveled to India in June.

Using a scientific digital camera and an infrared filter, they captured images of each palm leaf in eight to 10 sections and digitally stitched them together.

After they are run through processing algorithms, the images will be stored in several formats, including etched silicon wafers for long-term preservation.