Friday, 2 October 2015

Further Developments in the Black Book of Carmarthen Research

Myriah Williams writes

Interest generated in research on the Black Book of Carmarthen (NLW MS Peniarth 1) resulted last week in an international collaboration between Dr Gregory Heyworth, director of The Lazarus Project, the National Library of Wales and myself.  The Lazurus Project specializes in multispectral imaging, a process in which a series of photographs is taken of an object lit with numerous colour bands spanning from ultraviolet to infrared.  A specialised lens made of quartz is used in the imaging, as it allows for much better transmission of ultra violet light than standard glass.

Over the course of three days we captured images of select pages in the Black Book, as well as some of the fourteenth-century Peniarth 20, a manuscript whose outer pages suffered damage significant enough to render their texts illegible.  The processing of the images is fairly labour-intensive, so the full results of the endeavour will not be known for some weeks or longer.  Initial results, however, look promising.  I look forward to seeing what comes to light from this work (pun intended), and am delighted to have taken part in it.