Archimedes Palimpsest Project

Description: Earliest known copy of Archimedes Work with digital images and transcriptions of the only copies of Archimedes treatises The Method and Stomachion; the only copy in Greek of On Floating Bodies; and copies of the Equilibrium of Planes, Spiral Lines, The Measurement of the Circle, and Sphere and Cylinder. The program also made further discoveries, including tenpages of unique text by the fourth century B.C. Attic Greek orator Hyperides; six folios from a still unidentified unique Neo-Platonic philosophical text that may be commentaries on Aristotle; four folios from a liturgical book; and twelve pages from two other books, the text of which has yet to be deciphered.

Implementation description: The Digital Palimpsest purposes are threefold:
  1. Serve as the authoritative digital data set of images in a standardized format that meets the needs of users, information providers, archives and libraries.
  2. Provide derived information (i.e. transcriptions, processing information) in the context of digital images of the original manuscript in a single integrated package.
  3. Offer a standard product sustainable by users to which current or future contributors can add additional standardized information (e.g. alternate texts, image analyses or conservation information).
The Digital Palimpsest incorporates registered images for each leaf, TEI P5 scholarly transcriptions that scholars initially created in various nonstandard formats, and associated standardized metadata. It includes 4,000 digital images in 12 spectral bands and 400 pages of transcriptions of the original writings in Greek of Archimedes and others.

Other Related Resources: Scholars produced XML transcriptions of the Greek text from digital images using common tools and standards that conform to the Text Encoding Initiative P5 guidelines.

Access : The Archimedes Palimpsest data is released with license for use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to The Curator of Manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.


Will Noel
Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201 USA
Tel: 410 547-9000 X253
Fax: 410 752-4797