Columbia University Have Digitised an Anatomy Flipbook

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Columbia University Have Digitised an Anatomy Flipbook

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Preservation of delicate documents

digitised flipbook 1 sm 1The public now have online access to the beautiful and insightful human anatomy flipbook ‘Catoptrum Microcosmicum’. First published in 1613, the historic document has been captured electronically and scanned to pdf by Columbia University in order to be digitally archived and prevented from further damage. The result is an impressive and rare look into how the world, and the human body, was viewed all those years ago.

Restoring to its former glory

Although not dating back to the original publication date, the document scanned was a 1661 edition and still showed signs of wear, tear and aging. Dark stains were lightened by applying moisture then delicate suction to lift away any stain particles. Whilst we are unsure whether or not any post processing was applied to the flipbook once it was scanned, we know that this is another great way to return old documents to their former glory.

Conserving original features.

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The beautifully illustrated book explains what lies within the human body, by presenting a human figure and removing layers of anatomy to reveal it piece by piece as each page is turned. The online version of the document preserves the original physical aspect of the book by being presented in a format that allows the user to also turn each page on the screen, with a click of a mouse. Try it out for yourself and browse through the full flipbook here.

Archiving interest

digitised flipbook 3 smallWhilst it is inevitable that the anatomy described within the flipbook is not medically correct by today’s standards, it is useful to have access to historic educational, scientific and medical records such as this, even with the 200 year old grafity. Fake moustaches aside, the flipbook is a delightful yet bizarre find which we are sure will capture the imagination of many. Now it has been captured digitally, this document will be stored and available to see for generations to come.

Pearl Scan Heritage Scanning and Digitisation

At Pearl Scan we offer bespoke services to digitally archive historic documents, including books, manuscripts, newspapers or other fragile documents (Such as a flipbook!). We have the expertise and facilities to produce high quality, text searchable images from a wide variety of projects and documents. Fragile documents are treated with extreme care and ensure all images go through intensive quality checks to ensure we produce a document to digitally preserve each piece in the highest quality.