about the codices digital humanities lab


codices is a collaborative working group focused on the analysis of manuscripts, texts, and early printed books with optical, chemical, and computational techniques. We draw collaborators from many disciplines including English, Classics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Art History, History, Musicology, etc. We conduct our research in working groups that coalesce around specific research questions and analytical techniques. We are in incubator for faculty research, a training ground for graduate students, and a venue for undergraduate research.


Virginia Blanton

Department of English
School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Nathan Oyler

Department of Chemistry
School of Science and Engineering


Jeff Rydberg-Cox

Classics Program & Department of English
School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Co-Director, UMKC Center for Digital and Public Humanities

Our investigations to date have focused in the following areas:

Visible Imaging: We capture visible-light images of manuscripts and early printed books and present them online in order to bring them to a broad public audience.

Multispectral Imaging: We image selected pages from these manuscripts and early printed books at specific frequencies in the ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectrum. We also conduct spot-level densitometry and Raman spectroscopy on elements in these books to answer questions about their production and reception history.

Book Histories: We have extensive book histories of the objects that we are investigating, describing the physical characteristics and provenance of these works.


You can find details about all of our work on our Projects Page.


current codices projects