Lunch at 12:30pm, talk at 1pm, in 148 Fitzpatrick

Title: Oculus Palaeographicus Ex Machina: Using Computer Vision to Supplement the Paleographer’s Eye

Abstract: The steady digitization of medieval records and manuscripts is rapidly changing the field of paleography, challenging existing assumptions about handwriting and book production. This development has identified historically important centers for the production of scribal texts, and even of individual scribes themselves. The approach taken by most traditional paleographers is inherently qualitative and can be unintentionally subject to personal bias. Even those wielding the mighty “oculus palaeographicus” or “paleographer’s eye” cannot always claim objectivity. I’ve been developing tools using computer vision to give paleographers more quantitative methods for identifying scribal hands, and will further go on to discuss some of the interesting aspects and challenges of such a collaboration.