Visualizing paper evidence.

I wrote this piece a few years back where I argue that “Digital images both lie to us and tell us truths that exist outside of our normal perception. The lie comes about through both deliberate distortions and distortions produced by limitations in digital and in other reproduction methods. The limitations of reproductions are easy to see for anyone who considers the situation carefully, but understanding the problems that they create in our understanding of the past requires some study.”

The piece shows how we can use high-quality digital images to recover paper stocks used to print a book and analyze its structure:

Visualizing Paper Evidence Using Digital Reproductions

Since that time, however, I have prepared a public-facing OpenSeaDragon version of the image itself. You can zoom in from looking at the whole book at once to examining individual pieces of type. I recommend reading the article above and then looking at this zoom to see what you can spot:

Big zoom