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Alamire Digital Lab

Lynda Sayce & Zoe Saunders at work with the ADL

The ADL is fitted out with state-of-the-art, specialist equipment allowing precious manuscripts to be photographed following the strictest standards and quality requirements.

The lab is a mobile unit, with high-resolution cameras, and equipment for holding the book (copy stand, “cradle” for smaller manuscripts). The ADL is characterised by the unique combination of:

  • the production of state-of-the-art images at the highest commercially available resolution
  • a mobile digitisation solution
  • specialist expertise for dealing with the uniqueness and the fragility of the manuscript and printed sources

The mobile equipment has been put into operation for digitisation extra muros in the institutions where the relevant sources are kept. This has created considerable added value for the digitisation projects in heritage institutions, which by necessity must limit their activities to their own collections. The fact that the ADL can be implemented anywhere in the world has allowed us to select sources not on the basis of their physical location but according to their relevance. So far, the ADL has taken more than 60,000 images.

The operations of ADL illustrate the unbreakable bond between digitization and research: both the main ADL photographer (Dr. Lynda Sayce) and her assistants are active as musicologists and musicians. As a result, not only can the choices made during the digitization process be better accorded with the final purpose of the images, but the scientific examination of the manuscript can already take place in the digitization space itself.