Understanding multispectral imaging of cultural heritage: Determining best practice in MSI analysis of historical artefacts

Cerys Jones, Melissa Terras, Christina Duffy, Adam Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although multispectral imaging (MSI) of cultural heritage, such as manuscripts, documents and artwork, is becoming more popular, a variety of approaches are taken and methods are often inconsistently documented. Furthermore, no overview of the process of MSI capture and analysis with current technology has previously been published. This research was undertaken to determine current best practice in the deployment of MSI, highlighting areas that need further research, whilst providing recommendations regarding approach and documentation. An Action Research methodology was used to characterise the current pipeline, including: literature review; unstructured interviews and discussion of results with practitioners; and reflective practice whilst undertaking MSI analysis. The pipeline and recommendations from this research will improve project management by increasing clarity of published outcomes, the reusability of data, and encouraging a more open discussion of process and application within the MSI community. The importance of thorough documentation is emphasised, which will encourage sharing of best practice and results, improving community deployment of the technique. The findings encourage efficient use and reporting of MSI, aiding access to historical analysis. We hope this research will be useful to digitisation professionals, curators and conservators, allowing them to compare and contrast current practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • digitization
  • cultural heritage imaging
  • multispectral imaging
  • advanced imaging analysis
  • best practice
  • workflow


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