The dead arose and appeared to many…

On this Halloween night, it seems particularly appropriate to discuss a project named after a man who returned from the dead. The Lazarus Project, a not-for-profit initiative, was founded by Dr. Gregory Heyworth, Associate Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. It grew out of a wish to unite the traditional academic disciplines of ancient language scholarship, textual analysis, and palaeography with the emergent technologies of the digital age, such as multi-spectral imaging, and the chemical analysis of inks and materials. This hybridisation of two unrelated fields resulted in a new hyperdiscipline which Heyworth labels Textual Science. And with the help of a substantial grant from the U.S. government, The Lazarus Project was born. It has been called to the rescue of many endangered manuscripts thus far, in seven countries, and the potential contribution such technology could yet make to the study of the 60,000 manuscripts currently residing in practically illegible and precarious conditions is both staggering and awe-inspiring.