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Digital Epigraphy for the Blind

Aaron Hershkowitz

The Institute for Advanced Study

Most efforts at improving the accessibility of epigraphy revolve around making two-dimensional images of inscriptions or squeezes openly available online. This approach has its advantages in keeping file size moderate and digitization time and costs under control, but it also excludes blind scholars from an area in which they might otherwise thrive. Were it possible, perhaps through a computer peripheral, to allow a scholar to feel the 3D surface of a squeeze, that additional level of accessibility might be a compelling argument in favor of capturing the 3D geometries of these squeezes instead of simply 2D images. This talk presents some initial results of experimentation by digital epigraphy professionals and blind scholars to determine the utility of squeezes and 3D reproductions thereof for epigraphic scholarship.

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