Oxford's Weston Library to dust for hyperspectral fingerprints

Researchers to use imaging technology to identify invisible-to-the-eye artefacts

Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Weston Library, which opened in March after an £80m restoration, will use the new technique of hyperspectral imaging to reveal details of artefacts not visible to the naked eye.

One of the first objects to be analysed using this technology is the Gough Map, the earliest surviving map of travel routes across Great Britain, believed to have been made between 1300 and 1430. Recently conserved and digitised, the map has been the subject of further research, due to be revealed at a symposium at the Bodelian this autumn.

“Trainee digital archivists are exploring new ways to preserve digital materials for the future while curators work to catalogue major 20th-century archives,” says a project spokeswoman.

A number of donors funded the refurbishment of the Weston Library, previously known as the New Bodleian, including Julian Blackwell, the president of Blackwell’s bookshops, who contributed £5m.