The Miniature Book Scanner
Recording the Offiziolo di Carlo VIII at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini holds one of the most important collections of illuminations cut from great manuscripts as well as bound illunimated manuscripts.
Factum Arte has been commissioned by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini to work along side Michele de Lucchi to produce an exhibition based on the Foundation's remarkable collection of pages, mainly cut from great manuscripts.  The exhibition will also contain some complete manuscripts - including the Offiziolo given by Ludovico il Moro to Charles VIII of France. The book, seldom seen due to its size and preciousness, has been recorded with a system specially designed by Dwight Perry for Factum Arte that uses a mirrored optical-glass prism made by Ben Gaskell.  The design allows for precise and safe recording which has been done at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice in June 2015.

The miniature book scanner in the Fondazione Cini, June 2015

The miniature book scanner is a scanner specifically designed by Factum Arte to record miniature books at a resolution of above 2000 dpi. We were not allowed to open the book at 50 degrees and the painted surfaces were often going deep in the bind. 

  • Details of the Miniature Scanner

The book scanner is designed around a prism and a camera system. The prism is made of solid optical glass and has a vertical plane where the book page being recorded is held against and a plane at 45 degree where opposite book page rests. That plane is mirror coated so the image from the opposite side reflects down and exits the prism.
The camera system then records that reflected image, a Canon 5DIII and 100 2.8 macro lens, is attached to the frame with a micro rail so framing and focus can be precisely adjusted. Low temperature high CRI less are positioned on the sides of the prism to provide lighting. The maximum resolution is about 2200 dpi. A book of 220 pages was recorded with that system.
This miniature book (6 x 3,8 cm) was recorded in two days at 22000 dpi. The resulting documentation will be produced as a facsimile that can be handled and as enlarged prints that will be part of the exhibition Mindful Hands. Masterpieces of illumination. 

Recording of the pages of the Offiziolo

A reconstructed double page of the Offiziolo obtained from the data recorded

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