E-newsletter Archive

Contents:  2010 E-newsletters   2009 E-newsletters 

December 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We want to say thank you to everyone who has donated to Cultural Heritage Imaging this year and/or in prior years. Every $20 makes a difference!

If you have not yet donated there is still time for a 2010 donation! Donations post-marked by 12/31 or entered into the on-line donation system by that time are 2010 charitable contributions for IRS purposes.

I would like to take a moment to share with you what inspires me about our work. I love that we are putting useful, practical, digital tools in the hands of folks who care for our cultural treasures. My favorite moment during a training or imaging session is when an object has been imaged and the data processed, and the person who has studied this object for a long time gets to look at the results. There are these “ah ha” moments where they see something they hadn't seen before. Frequently these objects have been under the microscope, imaged with x-rays, possibly multi-spectral imaging applied, and we can give them an additional tool to learn more. For example, earlier this year we imaged some objects chosen by conservators at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). Included was a Japanese woodblock print from 1851. The piece has a lot of interesting detail that is difficult to see. When we showed the results to the conservator Debra Evans, we had the video cameras rolling for our Samuel H. Kress sponsored documentary. You can see for yourself Debra's reaction (5:48 video with Debra Evans) And the story gets better. The print is part of the exhibition Japanesque at the Legion of Honor through January 9, and when the curator saw the results, she wanted to show them in the gallery. So, folks at FAMSF made a video that is now playing in the galleries alongside the print. You can read a blog post about the project, from Sue Grinols, FAMSF Imaging Director.

I have hung out in the back of the gallery and watched people watching the video. There is usually a line in front of the print afterward where folks wait to get a chance to look at the details they have just seen. There are subtle things you wouldn't see with a casual look, and in some cases things you only see with the special imaging. The best thing about all this is that the technique is simple and inexpensive enough that folks in under-served, under-funded institutions and sites can use it along with world class institutions like the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

With your help we have been able to develop our training programs, software, user guides and videos and to provide workshops to museum, archaeology and historical professionals. Please consider helping us enable the study, preservation, and sharing of humanity's treasures.

All the best for 2011,
Carla Schroer
Founder and Director

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


November 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This pre-holiday edition of Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI)'s email newsletter celebrates victory -- the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series and CHI has been awarded recognition by major granting agencies -- the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The CHI team has also been on the road spreading the news about the benefits of using advanced digital imaging technologies for cultural heritage research.

National Science Foundation Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $550,000 grant to the Princeton University Department of Computer Science and CHI to work on the “Automated Documentation and Illustration of Material Culture through the Collaborative Algorithmic Rendering Engine (CARE).”

The CHI team will work with principal investigator Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Ph.D. at Princeton to create the CARE open-source tool for generating accurately rendered drawings from Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) photographic data used by CHI and other cultural heritage researchers. Visit the NSF grant page and the CHI press release for details.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant

CHI also earned a $255,176 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the project, “Imaging Technologies Pathways For Museum Professionals.” This grant, along with matching funds raised by CHI, funds 10 workshops to train at least 150 museum professionals on how to use RTI and other digital photography methods to enhance their work. Read more about the project on the IMLS grant page and in CHI's press release.

The CHI Team On the Road

CHI has contributed to a variety of conferences and presentations in recent months to educate more cultural heritage professionals about the advantages of using RTI tools and methods in their work. Here are past and future events involving the participation of one or more members of the CHI team:

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


August 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Welcome to the conservation edition of Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI)'s email newsletter! We have embarked on a variety of digital cultural heritage conservation projects with our partners in the museum and foundation communities. We would like to share some conservation updates with you.

Kress Foundation-Funded Video Stars On New CHI Conservation Page

Roll on over to the new conservation resources on the CHI web site to view a 23-minute video documentary, “Reflectance Transformation Imaging and Art Conservation.” CHI's new conservation page also supplies additional art conservation examples and resources.

Funded with a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the video case study features interviews with conservators at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) and looks at how reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) technology can be used in conservation research, documentation, and outreach.

Digital Conservation With CHI and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The CHI team traveled to NYC this summer to set up a custom-designed and -built lighting array and conduct RTI training at MoMA's conservation department. CHI Executive Director Elizabeth Peña composed a blog entry about MoMA's new RTI equipment and knowledge. Read her posted comments to discover which objects from the MoMA collection were first in line to be given an RTI makeover!

More Training Opportunities From CHI

Experience firsthand the fun MoMA and FAMSF staff have been having by attending one of CHI's upcoming half-day workshops or four-day training sessions on RTI, digital conservation, and cultural heritage preservation techniques for the 21st century. Visit the training page to sign up for a workshop now while spaces are still available.

If you cannot make it to the upcoming workshops or training sessions, you can start learning about RTI and digital cultural heritage conservation on your own. Get a headstart by using the educational resources on CHI's conservation page. Familiarize yourself with key concepts, review written and video RTI case studies and project descriptions, and investigate CHI's online documentation and checklists. You'll be ready to jump into a training session later on for hands-on exposure to the wonderful world of RTI!

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


June 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) is gearing up for an active summer -- helping researchers preserve cultural heritage by developing and disseminating state-of-the-art digital examination and documentation techniques.

New Executive Director Elizabeth S. Peña

Everyone at CHI extends a hearty welcome to our new Executive Director, Elizabeth S. Peña. Elizabeth is an arts administrator and archaeologist with extensive experience as a museum curator, art conservationist, professor, state agency staff member, and cultural heritage advocate and researcher. She plans to help CHI attain greater financial stability and develop projects that further CHI's core mission to sustain cultural heritage preservation with advanced technology tools.

Read more about Elizabeth's work in her CHI biography and the press release announcing her new position with CHI.

A Big Thank You For Former CHI Executive Director Debra Dooley

CHI also thanks former Executive Director Debra Dooley for her work with our organization in a posting on the CHI blog. During her two-plus years with CHI, Debra accomplished a great deal -- helping us set up a great new training space, developing our blog and other social media tools, and so much more.

The Latest News From CHI Collaborators

Recent CHI blog postings provide details on what several CHI collaborators have been up to since they started working with CHI and learning about advanced cultural heritage documentation techniques. Researchers at Southampton University's Archaeological Computing Group in the UK are using government grant funding to work with reflectance transformation imaging technology (RTI) and are collaborating with CHI on the project. Learn more about the program through CHI's blog.

Researchers at the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute are frequent contributors to the CHI blog. Their latest posting, “Flexible Solutions For RTI,” is a fascinating account of how they used RTI for two challenging projects. The Institute employed RTI to successfully enhance detailed images of antique daguerrotypes, very early forms of photographs produced on metal plates. They also overcame the effects of shadows while imaging gold fillings in the teeth of a skull in the Smithsonian's research collection.

Honors For CHI President Mark Mudge at Arqueológica 2.0 Conference

CHI President Mark Mudge is one of three keynote speakers and Tartessos Award winners at Arqueológica 2.0, the International Meeting on Graphic Archeology and Informatics, Cultural Heritage and Innovation. Mark speaks about “Scientific Reliability and the Widespread Adoption of Digital Representations in Cultural Heritage Practice” at the conference in Sevilla, Spain.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


April 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Spring has been busy for the Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) team. We're getting in touch to provide you with updates about saving humanity's history with advanced imaging methods.

New Knowledge Sharing Tools on CHI Web Site

CHI is wrapping up the project funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Visit CHI's Learn page for quick links to a variety of educational resources about reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) and other cultural heritage preservation technologies and tools.

As part of the NCPTT project, CHI has also produced a new video, “Performing Highlight Image Capture,” which you can view at the CHI channel on YouTube and on our Learn page.

University of Southern California's InscriptiFact Offers RTIs

CHI's work with USC researchers has resulted in a new RTI viewer appearing in InscriptiFact, a networked image database of ancient Near Eastern inscriptions available to scholars via the Internet. InscriptiFact users can now download an RTI viewer from the the InscriptiFact Standalone Viewer site.

CHI Delivers Papers at Key Conferences

CHI team members spread the word with paper presentations at two archaeology conferences this spring. In early April, CHI staff presented “Towards the Collaborative Algorithmic Rendering Engine (CARE) Project” at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) event in Spain.

In late April, CHI collaborators presented “Linking up Worlds of Data: Digitally Remediating Egyptian Archaeology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum” at the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Training in Reflectance Transformation Imaging

Explore how you can capture, process, and view results using RTI technology on your own. CHI offers the four-day “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects” at the San Francisco training facility in June. The one-day class, “Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation and Education,” is also available. Visit CHI's class schedule on the web for the latest updates.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


March 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In this edition of the e-newsletter, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) has vital updates to share with you about key projects.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

CHI will help New York's MoMA develop and refine digital conservation techniques this summer. Similar to projects completed for conservation departments at the Worcester Art Museum and the Smithsonian, the CHI team is creating a custom lighting array for MoMA. An interview about CHI's work with James Coddington, MoMA's Chief Consevator, appears on the CHI blog.

The 48-light array enables MoMA staff to illuminate objects in order to capture interactive, three-dimensional media for digital conservation projects. CHI also plans to provide its advanced four-day training program for MoMA staff.

Digital Conservation Training Program

CHI continues to work with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) to create innovative multimedia content for the “Digital Conservation Training Program: Case Studies” funded in part by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Images from the pilot project are now available at CHI's Flickr photostream.

Another alumnus from CHI's digital training has posted on the CHI blog about Smithsonian work using CHI tools and methods. Review E. Keats Webb's “Imaging Paper Squeezes With RTI At the Smithsonian” blog entry for more insights into how reflectance transformation imaging helps cultural heritage researchers.

3D Digital Rock Art Documentation

CHI worked with the Smithsonian, the Presidio of San Francisco’s Archaeology Program, universities, and government agencies to develop video content and other training resources for “A Comprehensive Training Program For 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation.” The National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and The Unbroken Chain Foundation helped fund this project. Recently, NCPTT did a podcast and transcript about the project featuring CHI's Carla Schroer.

Four-Day Training in Reflectance Transformation Imaging

Learn how to capture, process, and view results using Reflectance Transformation Imaging technology. “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects” is offered at CHI's great training facility in San Francisco. CHI also offers on-site classes customized for the specific needs of organizations. Visit CHI's class schedule on the web for upcoming opportunities.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


January 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) accomplished much in 2009 to lay the groundwork for a stellar 2010. CHI received prestigious grants, trained many cultural heritage specialists in advanced imaging techniques, and gained support from enthusiastic individuals in the greater heritage community. In 2010, CHI hopes to build on our support and accomplishments with your continuing assistance.

Training and Sharing Knowledge

In 2009, more than 50 conservators, photographers, archaeologists, and other heritage professionals graduated from CHI's reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) workshops and four-day classes. Visit CHI's class schedule on the web to see what's in store for 2010.

Papers Published in 2009

CHI staff delivered important papers at cultural heritage conferences that are now available on the web site.

For the 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage (VAST), CHI president Mark Mudge co-authored the paper, “Illuminating the Past—State of the Art.”

At the Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA) conference, CHI staff and collaborators presented “Grass-Roots Imaging: A case study in sustainable heritage imaging at Chersonesos, Ukraine.” Review presentation slides and remarks for this paper in CHI's web archive, too.

Visit CHI's Events page for updates on CHI's participation in conferences and papers in 2010.

Foundation Grant Support

CHI had a successful year for winning grants with three awards from great foundations and plans to seek additional funding in 2010.

CHI won a grant from the National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) to work with the Smithsonian, the Presidio of San Francisco's Archaeology Program, universities, and government agencies to develop content for “A Comprehensive Training Program For 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation And Preservation.”

CHI also received support from The Unbroken Chain Foundation. Unbroken Chain is contributing to CHI's work on the NCPTT project to develop multimedia training content for digital rock art programs. For more information, visit the NCPTT page.

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation awarded CHI a $25,000 grant for a pilot project, “Reflectance Transformation Imaging Conservation School Pilot Program” CHI is working with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) to create innovative multimedia content for a digital conservation training program.

Moving Forward In 2010

The CHI team is working hard to complete grant-funded projects and find additional sources of support for new projects. CHI staff documented the NCPTT rock art workshop and other training materials and CHI is completing multimedia content for this grant-funded program.

For the Kress Foundation project, CHI has created storyboards for videos that will include content on determining the value of using Reflectance Transformation Imaging in conservation and FAMSF staff selected several objects to analyze. The story of how the conservators analyze the resulting RTIs of the objects will appear in the new videos.

CHI is also applying for more grants to fund research and development in key research areas. These research initiatives include a Collaborative Algorithmic Rendering Engine (CARE) to digitally document and illustrate material culture and Project Reveal, which will improve CHI's existing technology toolkit with more robust user interfaces and data-management capabilities.

We hope you will join CHI by contributing to these exciting programs to save humanity's history. Your support in 2009 helped CHI accomplish so much and we look forward to your support and feedback in 2010. Please visit our Support page and make a donation to move digital cultural heritage forward in 2010.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax-deductible.


December 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As 2009 draws to a close, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) is launching new projects and completing other goals to ensure that 2010 is a noteworthy heritage year. The CHI team looks forward to continued collaboration with you and our other research and support partners.

Heritage Campaign Update

The fundraising campaign we introduced in our November e-newsletter is making progress towards building momentum for CHI’s cultural heritage programs. As promised, we have new assets on our web site, blog, and social media contributed by CHI team members and supporters. We hope you can visit these links soon to share some of the joy we have experienced this year while discovering and promoting ways to digitally preserve our cultural heritage.

Donor Gets Deeply Involved

The latest CHI blog entry comes from a loyal CHI donor who has expanded her contributions by donating her valuable technical skills to the CHI cause. Read about what CHI means to a dedicated specialist who has achieved much in her field.

Excitement On Location

A new CHI Flickr photostream conveys the thrill of working with CHI tools and techniques to digitally document ancient Egyptian treasures at a beloved San Francisco institution. Catch a glimpse behind the scenes with CHI researchers and collaborators.

Inspiring Grant Awards From Great Foundations

CHI received fantastic news from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation -- a $25,000 grant for a pilot project, “RTI Conservation School Pilot Program.” CHI staff will work with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) to create innovative multimedia techniques and content that could help museums with digital conservation projects.

CHI and FAMSF staff will use advanced reflection transformation imaging (RTI) tools and techniques to digitally document and analyze objects in the museums’ collections and create innovative multimedia training content. Visit the Kress grant page for updates and more information.

The Unbroken Chain Foundation is also supporting CHI’s work with a $5,000 grant to help fund programs to develop multimedia training content for digital rock art documentation and preservation. For details, go to the NCPTT page.

Best Wishes For 2010

The CHI team extends warm wishes to you for a wonderful new year. We feel like we have already laid the groundwork for a productive and stimulating 12 months. We hope you will join us for another cycle of innovation, inspiration, and dedication as we continue our work to help save humanity’s heritage. Please visit our Support page and make a donation to give digital cultural heritage a head start for 2010.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax deductible.


November 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) has launched a campaign to raise funds to build on the momentum we have created in archaeological and heritage communities to use technology tools to document and preserve our precious cultural legacies worldwide.

In this newsletter, we point you to assets on our web site and blog that exemplify what we do and why our actions have helped organizations document and preserve cultural heritage resources in fantastic new ways.

During our campaign, we plan to post blog updates from donors, CHI team members, and CHI workshop participants who will share what CHI means to them and why CHI deserves your support. Please visit CHI's blog for the first installment from a CHI team member who worked with a beloved San Francisco institution to digitally document items in the collection.

The CHI team hopes these stories inspire you to visit our Support page and make a donation before the end of 2009.

Making a Difference Around the World

The CHI team is proud of the workshop we conducted at a major archaeological site in the Ukraine at the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. CHI shared tools and technologies with researchers, government agencies, restoration experts, and students.

The knowledge CHI conveyed to a multidisciplinary, international group of heritage specialists got them started on their own short- and long-term projects to document ancient treasures and create interactive digital media to share globally over the Internet.

The Ripple Effect

As CHI shares tools and technologies through workshops and other methods with more and more organizations and individuals, the number of digital heritage projects emerging from these collaborative efforts continues to grow.

In addition to our workshops, CHI develops and refines the technology needed to create interactive digital media for cultural heritage documentation and preservation efforts. Our methods are now applied in many types of heritage projects, including rock art, field work, museum conservation, and more. The ever-widening circles of people collaborating with us help disseminate our techniques to even more audiences across the planet.

View some beautiful examples of what CHI has accomplished in a recent Flickr gallery and blog posting about ancient French cave paintings digitally preserved in interactive media created with CHI's techniques.

Blasts From the Past

In previous fundraising cycles, your generous donations, along with volunteer efforts, have helped save history in many ways, including:

Step Up to the CHI Challenge

The CHI team and our collaborators have done some amazing things and there is so much more we can do. We need your help to move our projects forward and bring our methods to more cultural heritage groups and sites. Please show us you agree with a donation before 2009 draws to a close. Happy holidays from everyone at CHI.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) company. Donations are tax deductible.


October 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As the holidays approach, the team at Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) pauses to reflect on threatened cultural heritage monuments of the world and new technology for digital conservation that could help these structures and other priceless heritage treasures. We hope you have time for reflection, too, and that you are inspired to support our work.

Threatened World Monuments

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) recently issued a press release outlining the world's most threatened monuments. The 2010 WMF Watch List includes 93 sites in 47 countries, including nine in the US.

At-risk monuments are everywhere, from the mountains of Peru and Bhutan to the deserts of Uzbekistan. Ancient tombs, castles, and petroglyphs are endangered, as are contemporary buildings, bridges, and landscapes. The principal hazards are war, natural disasters, urban sprawl, and neglect, according to the WMF.

Fortunately, there is still time to help many of these sites, especially through coordinated efforts combining heritage conservation, economic solutions, and sustainable stewardship. Digital cultural heritage techniques, such as the ones CHI promotes, could be helpful in preserving and documenting threatened monuments.

Preserving Paleolithic Material for Future Generations

CHI's co-founders, Carla Schroer and Mark Mudge, traveled to the south of France to shoot RTIs and Photogrammetry of paleolithic cave art and engraved plaquettes that are approximately 12,000–14,000 years old. Time, weather conditions, and graffeti are contributing to the erosion of the cave art. Digital photography techniques like RTI or Photogrammetry might be solutions to preserve the art. Read more about this project at the CHI blog and visit the CHI Flickr collection.

Report From Malta

The CHI team had a big presence at the 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage (VAST) on Malta. CHI president Mark Mudge co-authored “Illuminating the Past—State of the Art” -- a paper presented at VAST 2009. CHI collaborator Michael Ashley co-authored a paper, “Last House on the Hill: Digitally Remediating Data and Media for Preservation and Access,” that won the best paper award at VAST.

Technology Stars in CHI Blog Postings

Visit CHI's blog for postings on the latest equipment suitable for creating interactive cultural heritage media. Read about the new Einstein lighting gear and dream about putting together an awesome digital imaging kit for cultural heritage work.

Help The Past Have a Future

Please consider supporting CHI and efforts to save humanity“s history with digital preservation techniques. Every donation helps CHI programs dedicated to sharing and documenting cultural heritage knowledge for the future. Visit the Support Us page at www.c-h-i.org to make a donation.


September 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) shares exciting technology developments in this e-newsletter.

New Lighting Dome For Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

The CHI team has designed and built new hardware for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) project with grant partners at the University of Southern California (USC). The new lighting array dome offers more options for illuminating and capturing images for RTI media and is also part of the IMLS/CHI multi-view capture system. The multiview system uses two cameras that can image cultural objects from all observable directions.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place For Blogs, Photos and Videos

Visit CHI's YouTube channel to see an exciting time-lapse video of CHI Imaging Director Marlin Lum assembling the entire dome by himself.

Check out a fabulous blog posting from CHI Executive Director Debra Dooley and Marlin about how domes function during the RTI capture process.

CHI's Flickr photostream also offers some great shots of a previous dome built for the Worcester Art Museum (WAM) conservation department. A WAM photo gallery on the CHI site provides additional views of the first dome in the CHI panoply.

CHI Heads to Malta

CHI principals are participating in the 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage (VAST) on the fabled Mediterranean island of Malta. CHI president Mark Mudge is co-author of the paper, “Illuminating the Past—State of the Art,” being presented at VAST 2009.


August 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In this special edition of the Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) newsletter, the CHI team offers updates on our training programs and workshops, which are gaining momentum in the cultural heritage world.

Firsthand Account By Workshop Participant

The CHI blog features a guest entry by Mark Christal, Multimedia Coordinator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). He writes eloquently about CHI's training in reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) held at the Smithsonian Cultural Resources Center in June. Get the inside scoop on what's it like to take a CHI workshop and the kind of people you might meet at one by checking out Mark Christal's blog: culturalheritageimaging.wordpress.com

Digital Imaging Workshops

Four-Day Workshop Ready For You. CHI is accepting applications for the intensive four-day workshop, “RTI: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects.” This quintessential class covers everything you need to know—from digital imaging workflows to steps and gear needed to capture, process, view, and share highly detailed, three dimensional, interactive images. The class delivers the goods through lively lectures, engaging demonstrations, and thrilling hands-on work in small groups. The next four-day session takes place right after Halloween and during Dia de los Muertos -- the perfect time to be in San Francisco.

Help CHI Share More Insights. Even if you cannot make it to the workshop in early November, you can still participate by making a contribution to CHI's ongoing workshop development program. The CHI team has many ideas on how to train staff at museums, universities, and government agencies in digital cultural heritage techniques. Your donation helps CHI develop exciting and informative content for workshops in digital asset management, digital conservation and preservation, and advanced digital photography. Find out more about how you can help on CHI's Support page.

Sign Up Now. Take a Workshop. Learn.

First Impressions From CHI's National Park Service Workshop

Early reports are filtering in about CHI's highly successful July workshop in the Presidio of San Francisco. The CHI team and a group of great collaborators conducted a workshop funded in part by the National Park Service's National Center For Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).

CHI and groups such as the NMAI, universities, and other agencies shared digital cultural heritage techniques and began developing video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and web-based materials. Visit CHI's blog for the latest update on “A Comprehensive Training Program For 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation.” Go to CHI's Flickr photostream to see an image gallery of the NCPTT workshop and the participants. And be sure to check out the article about the workshop on the NCPTT website.


June 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) declares World Environment Day each June, making this month a time to focus on how we can improve our environment and our planet. Our global cultural heritage is a vital element of our environment. Like our natural and physical world, heritage sites and artifacts have been adversely affected by climate change and other negative environmental effects, many caused by human activities.

Heroes Wanted

UNEP has created the Champions of the Earth Laureates Program to recognize the extraordinary efforts made by dedicated researchers and activists to increase environmental protection and awareness.

CHI has been inspired by the UNEP program to create a Heritage Heroes initiative that appreciates people in the heritage community who have advanced the field in so many ways. UNEP recognition categories include science and innovation, policy, inspiration and action, and entrepreneurial vision. The CHI team can think of numerous cultural heritage workers who deserve recognition in each of these areas and in other categories, too.

However, for our first nominee, we have selected someone who has really led the way in promoting digital techniques to document and preserve cultural heritage. Visit our blog at culturalheritageimaging.wordpress.com to see who the lucky winner is, and add some nominations of your own.

Digital Imaging Workshops

Smithsonian Studies With CHI. Staff at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Cultural Resources Center (CRC) are now graduates of CHI’s four-day digital imaging workshop, “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects.”

During a four-day training period in June, 14 CRC participants developed interactive, three-dimensional images of fossils, qeros (Andean engraved and inlaid wooden drinking vessels), stone Mayan and Aztec bas relief panels, Olmec and Mayan jade, and ancient copper hair pieces. The NMAI participants had kind words for the workshop -- “amazing technology,” “great hands-on training,” and “very informative.”

Digital Imaging Scholars Welcome. Discover what fascinated the Smithsonian yourself by attending “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects” on July 14-17, August 31-September 3, or October 26-29, 2009. Offered at CHI’s headquarters near downtown San Francisco, these workshops show you all you need to know to handle digital conservation and preservation projects on your own.

If your current schedule or workload does not allow you to take one of these great courses, consider underwriting a scholarship to send a student or fledgling cultural heritage researcher to the class in your place. Find out more about how you can contribute by contacting CHI through the Support page.

Sign Up Now. Take a Workshop. Learn.

CHI's Latest Blog and Flickr Highlights

Blogologists. CHI’s development director Michael Ashley recently posted a lively account of his journey to the Arqueologica 2.0 conference in Spain, the first international congress on virtual archaeology and informatics. Another recent post about CHI collaborator Tom Malzbender and the magic he makes at Hewlett Packard Labs is also ready for your review.

Visit CHI’s blog for the latest updates from the CHI Team about on conferences, training sessions, heritage heroes, and more. Add your own comments to blog entries and tell CHI and the cultural heritage world how you feel about the state of cultural heritage.

Refreshing Flickr Stream. CHI’s Flickr photostream has been updated with amazing images from a CHI expedition to the Presidio of San Francisco. CHI created interactive 3D images of the stone pillars at the Presidio’s massive Arguello Gate, proving that size doesn’t matter when applying digital conservation technique.

Back to the Future. The CHI team returns to the Presidio in July to conduct a workshop funded in part by the National Park Service’s National Center For Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). The NCPTT project brings together CHI and collaborators to develop “A Comprehensive Training Program For 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation.”

Through this program, CHI and groups such as the NMAI, universities, and other agencies share digital cultural heritage techniques with a workshop, video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and web-based materials. Stay tuned for the full report on this groundbreaking project.


May 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Please join Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) in celebrating National Preservation Month this May. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected “This Place Matters” as the theme for the 2009 preservation month. Visit the trust’s preservation month page for more stories and inspiration.

The CHI team has discovered many places that matter all over the US and the world. CHI wants to show everybody how to digitally preserve the places and objects that matter on our planet and share information about these treasured cultural resources so others will understand why they matter so much and why we need to save them.

Blogging With CHI

Visit CHI’s blog for the latest updates on conferences, training sessions, opinions, places that matter, and more. You can post comments about blog entries and let the CHI community know what’s on your mind: http://culturalheritageimaging.wordpress.com

Other places where you can broadcast your opinions in an interactive online kind of way are on CHI’s Flickr photostream and YouTube pages.

The CHI team would also love it if you added a link to us on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other places where you have an online presence. Visit our home page and other pages on our site to quickly and conveniently add us to your favorite online places with our Bookmark and Share button: www.c-h-i.org

Digital Imaging Workshops

You still have time in 2009 to take an affordable digital imaging workshop with CHI. Here are the upcoming dates for the half-day “Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation and Education” session: July 1, August 27, and October 15, 2009.

Also available is the four-day intensive, “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: Generating Digital Representations of Cultural Heritage Objects” on July 14-17, August 31-September 3, or October 26-29, 2009. Take the half-day appetizer to get started, then move on to the full course meal to learn all the details about how to do digital conservation and preservation projects on your own.

Sign Up Now. Take a Workshop. Learn.

Sharing Digital Insights Face-to-Face

CHI has been on the road spreading the word about digital conservation techniques at several prestigious conferences, including The American Institute For Conservation (AIC) of Historic and Artistic Works and the American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA) 2009 conferences. Visit CHI’s Events page for the latest updates.

Tell Us About the Places and Objects That Matter to You

In honor of National Preservation Month, let the CHI community know what cultural heritage means to you and what you think needs to be digitally documented, physically restored, heroically saved, or just better appreciated in general. We look forward to hearing from you via email or in the blogosphere!


April 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Andrew Curry’s “Climate Change: Sites in Peril” article in the March/April 2009 issue of Archaeology magazine highlights serious hazards facing many of the world’s cultural heritage sites both on the coast and inland. Rising sea levels, receding glaciers, erosion, and shifting desert sands are among the threats archaeological sites face because of climate change.

The need for emergency site documentation is increasing at many cultural heritage treasures across the planet. Digital tools and techniques disseminated by Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) are a solution for documenting at-risk artifacts and preserving humanity’s heritage. The CHI team continues to launch education and information-sharing efforts to get the word out about digital cultural heritage possibilities.

CHI Enters the Blogosphere

CHI has launched a new blog about topics, issues, and trends in cultural heritage. (culturalheritageimaging.wordpress.com) Visit CHI’s blog for the latest updates on conferences, training sessions, opinions, and more.

A recent post from CHI’s Director of Development Michael Ashley discusses CHI’s participation in the Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA) conference. Check out “Live From CAA—Strategies For a Brighter Future.”

Legend Rock Petroglyphs and University of California Fossils Appear In CHI’s Flickr Pages

CHI’s expedition to the Legend Rock State Historic Site in Wyoming resulted in stunning images of petroglyphs (rock art) etched into stone slabs. Visit the Flickr photostream to see a slide show of the project.

Also making an appearance is the photo chronicle of CHI's meeting at the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP). The CHI team showed the UCMP director how advanced imaging could enhance research efforts for fossils, dinosaur footprint trackways, and other ancient evidence. Examine all of CHI's photostreams in the Flickr galleries.

Go to CHI’s advanced imaging gallery to experience interactive, three-dimensional images of rock art from a Portuguese World Heritage site.

CHI’s First Digital Imaging Workshops

On March 18 and April 21, 2009 the CHI team put together popular and successful workshops at CHI’s offices in San Francisco. The half-day sessions, “Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation and Education,” introduced cultural heritage researchers to technologies such as reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) for capturing and analyzing digital details from many types of artifacts.

Four-day classes on “Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging to Digitize Collections” follow in June and August. Read more and register for workshops and classes on CHI’s Training page.

You can also read about or apply to participate in CHI's two-day workshop in the Presidio of San Francisco in July. Funded in part by the National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) grant, the workshop covers three-dimensional (3D) digital rock art documentation and preservation techniques. Learn more.

Advanced Imaging Debuts on YouTube

The CHI team has added some short videos to YouTube. Visit the CHI pages to view clips showing how advanced imaging techniques reveal hidden details in papyrus fragments, illuminated manuscripts, and prehistoric rock art.

On the Road—CHI Shares Knowledge

CHI team members share insights and techniques about digital documentation of cultural heritage at several respected gatherings in April and May. Find the latest updates on CHI’s Events page to see how CHI is sharing knowledge about digital cultural heritage techniques and technologies.

Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Stanford University Chapter

Director and Founder Carla Schroer and CHI President Mark Mudge, along with CHI development Director Michael Ashley delivered the talk “Telling Stories with Advanced Imaging: Ancient Greek Epigraphy, Museum and Library Conservation, Rock Art” to an engaged audience. Numerous questions and discussions followed the presentation.

The American Institute For Conservation (AIC) of Historic and Artistic Works

In May, Mark and Carla join Worcester Art Museum’s science and paintings conservation expert Philip Klausmeyer for a presentation at the prestigious AIC annual meeting. Their paper is entitled “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: a new conservation tool for examination and documentation.”

American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA) 2009

Also in May, Carla and Mark roam the streets of Bakersfield, CA at ARARA 2009 where they hold a full-day workshop on digital documentation techniques for rock art and other cultural heritage objects.

CHI Welcomes Your Comments and Ideas

Do not hesitate to contact us with your ideas and opinions about digital cultural heritage and the field in general. CHI is interested in what you have to say and would like to hear your thoughts about the Archaeology climate change article and other challenges facing the cultural heritage field and how we can find solutions together.


February 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Digital technology takes a big step forward in February as the broadcast industry begins phasing out analog television. Similar to digital TV technology, digital cultural heritage technology promises to give users more detailed images in higher resolution and with more interactive features.

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) continues to promote wider use of digital tools and techniques in archaeology, museum studies and conservation, and cultural heritage documentation and preservation. Education is a key element in CHI’s strategy to share knowledge about our digital future. CHI participates in a variety of educational efforts during Spring 2009.

CHI Awarded National Park Service Grant

CHI received great news recently from the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). CHI has been awarded a $25,000 NCPTT technological innovation grant for the project “A Comprehensive Training Program For 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation And Preservation.” The grant helps CHI and collaborators share digital cultural heritage techniques through a workshop, video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and web-based materials.

CHI Flickr Photostream Adds Ukraine Images

The latest addition to CHI’s lively Flickr photostream is a behind-the-scenes tour of the class held at the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos in Summer 2008. The intrepid CHI team showed a roomful of Russian-speaking researchers how to use digital techniques to preserve their priceless cultural heritage objects. Read more of the story on CHI’s page about the project.

Visit CHI’s Flickr photostream for a backstage pass to the multi day workshop where significant discoveries occurred in the field of digital cultural heritage. CHI and workshop attendees created interactive, three-dimensional (3D) images of many objects, including unique gravestones and an ancient civic oath of great importance to Ukrainian citizens. Visit the Flickr gallery to see artifact details not visible until CHI showed researchers how to reveal them.

New Digital Imaging Workshop

March 18, 2009 marks the inaugural session in a new workshop program at CHI’s offices in San Francisco. Suitable for cultural heritage workers at all levels, the first session focuses on “Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation and Education.” The half-day workshop explores how technologies such as reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) help researchers capture and analyze digital details from treasured artifacts. Read more and register for workshops on CHI’s Training and Workshops page.

WebWise 2009 Conference

CHI President Mark Mudge participates in the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grantee Project Demonstrations at WebWise 2009 In Washington, DC in late February. CHI collaborates with University of Southern California researchers on the IMLS project, “Developing Advanced Technologies for the Imaging of Cultural Heritage Objects.”

Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology

The CHI team and collaborators deliver two papers at the March CAA 2009 conference “Reflectance Transformation Imaging: The Next Generation” and “Grass-Roots Imaging: A Case-Study in Sustainable Heritage Imaging at Chersonesos, Ukraine.”

Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Stanford University Chapter

CHI Director and Founder Carla Schroer and CHI President Mark Mudge present “Telling Stories with Advanced Imaging: Ancient Greek Epigraphy, Museum and Library Conservation, Rock Art” on Friday, April 3 at 8:00 p.m. AIA lectures are free and open to the public, although donations are welcome. A reception follows the talk.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at Stanford. The talk takes place in the Meyer Forum (Room 124) in the Meyer Library (northeast corner, lower level) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. For directions, check out Stanford’s searchable campus map.

Digital Initiatives and Collaborations at CHI

Your continued interest helps CHI maintain momentum on educational, research, and outreach programs to promote widespread adoption of digital cultural heritage concepts and technologies. Please feel free to Contact Us with suggestions and comments. The CHI team welcomes your thoughts on how we can work together to preserve humanity’s history and heritage!


January 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) has launched our 2009 programs with high levels of hope and enthusiasm to match the positive changes circulating in the US and the world. We strongly believe that helping humanity save history and cultural heritage should be powerful priorities in this time of transition. We welcome your support as we move forward with our goals and reflect on what we accomplished in 2008.

Training Future Digital Heritage Pioneers

The CHI team is forging ahead with plans to offer training for digitally documenting and preserving humanity’s history. CHI has offered many successful on-site training opportunities to cultural heritage workers in the US and abroad.

Now it is time to provide a place where people with a passion for saving our cultural heritage can meet fellow enthusiasts, study CHI’s techniques, and take useful tools back to archaeological, historical, and scientific sites and museums to document and preserve valuable information. CHI’s new office in cosmopolitan, culturally rich San Francisco is a great location for promoting and sharing cultural heritage digital documentation knowledge.

CHI has used contributions from our dedicated supporters to develop training materials, web site and publication training aids, and other resources for our vital instructional programs. CHI’s Training and Workshops page has preliminary information about our advocacy and training efforts to save our global cultural heritage. In the future, check this page for training updates and more details about this emerging program.

CHI Debuts on Flickr

Get an eyeful of what CHI does at our new Flickr photostream where we showcase photojournalism essays about our interactions with professionals at museums, archaeological sites, and in other intriguing cultural heritage settings.

Go behind the scenes as the CHI team works with researchers to capture interactive, three-dimensional (3D) images of precious artifacts at the Worcester Art Museum, document and preserve ancient coins and ceramics in Switzerland, and discover new details about unique rock carvings in Portugal.

CHI is adding more projects to Flickr to help spread the word about revolutionary new technologies and techniques that help preserve and protect our cultural heritage through digital documentation. Visit Flickr to view inspiring images.

CHI 2008 Achievements

Team CHI realized many goals in 2008 and recruited important staff members to maintain the momentum in 2009. We share a few of our top endeavors below -- read more about CHI’s 2008 work on the Featured Projects and Events pages.

Disseminating Knowledge. More than 50 cultural heritage workers attended CHI workshops to learn about new affordable ways to document and save their cultural heritage collections. More than 20 professionals from a variety of cultural heritage fields studied with CHI to learn tools and techniques for capturing and creating interactive, 3D digital images that preserve artifacts in great detail.

New Staff at CHI. The CHI team welcomed two new collaborators in the challenge to promote digital techniques for preserving humanity’s cultural heritage. CHI board member Michael Ashley, Ph.D., became CHI’s Director of Development in 2008. Michael earned his doctorate in archaeology from the University of California–Berkeley where he worked on digital conservation in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. He also holds prominent titles at the World Archaeological Congress and the Society for Historical Archaeology and has launched influential digital initiatives.

CHI’s new Executive Director Debra Dooley migrated to the nonprofit world from a leadership position at Sun Microsystems where she managed operations for an 850-person business unit and worked on leading-edge technologies in the smart card, mobile, and desktop computing industries. Debra joined CHI to help save history for future generations by finding adaptable software solutions. For more about CHI staff, visit the About Us page.

New Technology Briefing

This newsletter contains the first of CHI’s new technology briefings for our supporters. Future issues will feature other new technologies that CHI is sharing with the cultural heritage community.

Discover the interactive, 3D technology that CHI and other researchers use to digitally preserve cultural heritage objects. Known as reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), this amazing technology originated at Hewlett Packard Laboratories. Savvy scholars use RTI to document artifacts, reveal in-depth details never before visible, and preserve and share digital data globally.

Contributions from CHI supporters help fund research into refining and expanding RTI technology in cultural heritage preservation efforts worldwide. Go to CHI’s Digital Technologies page for more insights into the digital heritage world.

Upcoming Events

CHI delivers two papers at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference, participates in a CAA panel, and also conducts a CAA workshop on preserving cultural heritage with digital technology.

Go to our Events page for the latest conference, paper, and presentation updates.

CHI Appreciates Your Interest

Many thanks for supporting CHI and efforts to save humanity’s history with digital preservation techniques. Please consider giving a little more to keep CHI programs moving forward into a future where cultural heritage gains the attention it deserves. Visit the Support Us page at www.c-h-i.org to make a donation.