[Conférence] The elusive book. Modelling and digitizing the materiality of books towards digital codicology and bibliography

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le 30 juin 2021



Site Tanneurs

Conférence en mode hybride

En présentiel - amphi ROGER (site Tanneurs, Université de Tours)
En distanciel : Accéder à la conférence sur TEAMS  

Alberto Campagnolo (professeur invité d'Elena Pierazzo)

The digitization of books is generally understood as the capture of the page contents through photography and imaging. Not all features of books can be digitally acquired in this manner—we will refer to these as untransferable characteristics—and models and descriptive metadata are necessary steps to computerize important information about the structure and materiality of books. Digitization, in fact, can do much more than reproducing books as texts to be read, and books are much more than flat sequences of pages. Among these elusive features we find the physical form of books (e.g., bindings, the form and materials of the pages, the gathering structure, and so on). While digitization tends to concentrate on the remediation of the content of books, we argue for an increased interest in the transmediation of the materiality of books. This digital representation and manipulation of an object’s materiality is achieved through a number of means, metadata designation being one of the most established processes to bring these untransferable features into the digital. Digital surrogates created in this manner have the potency to be more than mere replacements of the original objects. Instead, when the transformative nature of the digitization process is more fully harnessed, they can become digital cultural objects: digital objects that transcend the originals, work in synergy with them allowing them to be studied in a variety of different ways and make them something more.

Alberto Campagnolo trained as a book conservator (1998-2001) in Spoleto, Italy and has worked in that capacity in various institutions, amongst which the London Metropolitan Archives and the Vatican Library. He studied Conservation of Library and Archive Materials (2001-2006) at Ca’ Foscari University Venice and then read for an MA in Digital Culture and Technology (2007-2009) at King’s College London. He pursued a PhD (2010-2015) on an automated visualization of historical bookbinding structures at the Ligatus Research Centre. He was a CLIR postdoctoral fellow at the Library pf Congress, Washington DC (2016-2018) and he is an adjunct professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Udine, Italy (2018-ongoing). From July 2021 he'll be starting a postdoc in Analyse codicologique et biocodicologique des reliures carolingiennes - Codicology and Biocodicology of Carolingian Bindings at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve).