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ISAAC Mobile Lab Examination of the Faddan More Bog Bible

Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering

Research theme: Global Heritage

School: School of Science and Technology


The ISAAC mobile laboratory visited the National Museum of Ireland for the non-invasive imaging of the Fadden More bog Bible. An imaging campaign was carried out from 06/10/2008 to 13/10/2008 to non-invasively image the leather cover of the bible and some of the folios. The imaging techniques used were Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), spectral imaging (our in-house developed PRISMS system with 10 imaging bands from 400nm to 880nm) and near infrared imaging with an InGaAs camera sensitive to light in the range of 900nm to 1700nm.

Addressing the Challenge

Objectives of the scientific analysis:

  • High resolution imaging of the ‘practice marks/patterns’ on the leather cover to give a better view of the patterns and identify the pigmented areas and their relation to the patterns and possibly the direction of the strokes;
  • OCT surface profilometry to identify the tool marks and hopefully constrain the type of tools used and find out whether the same tool was used;
  • OCT imaging of the patterns found on one of the folios and compare that with the patterns on the leather cover;
  • Spectral imaging to compare different tool marks on the dried folio,
  • Spectral imaging to determine how many different pigments were used or how different the materials are for the writing on the cover and on the dried vellum;
  • How the pigment spectra/colour change before and after drying? We have taken multispectral images of currently wet pigmented area on the cover and we can in the future image the dried cover and compare;
  • Identify any hidden writing with spectral imaging and the near infrared camera


Academic Investigator: Professor Haida Liang

Research Fellows

  • Dr Chi Shing (Sammy) Cheung, NTU

Research Students

  • Sotiria Kogou