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This long-awaited manual represents an extraordinary new chapter in the history of the Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. In the pages that follow, a century of tradition joins with modern technological innovation for an exciting glimpse into the future of our epigraphic recording. The very form of this manual, an ebook, is a new medium never before utilized by the Epigraphic Survey or the Oriental Institute, and is yet another new tool in an arsenal of groundbreaking new tools now at our disposal.
During the past several decades the Epigraphic Survey has refined its conventions and recording methodologies to fit with the wildly divergent nature of the inscribed surfaces we record and the changing conditions in Egypt that are resulting in the accelerating decay of those inscribed surfaces. For the past two years we have been experimenting with new digital tools, software, and equipment that have allowed us to streamline our recording process while still achieving the highest degree of accuracy, the bottom line of any scientific documentation. It has always been our aim to share these conventions and methodologies with our friends and colleagues, and it is my great pleasure to present the initial results here now. We have chosen the form of the ebook as the best way to communicate this data, as it is a format that can be updated and changed regularly, since the manual will always be a work in progress. The possibilities are limitless.
What you have before you represents the past, the present, and the future of the Epigraphic Survey’s epigraphic recording processes for your reference and use. Our convention sheets are downloadable for easier access. The tools that we describe and utilize - old and new - are available for everyone to use. We welcome and encourage your questions and feedback, since we will always be refining and improving these processes.
W. Raymond Johnson, PhD
Director, Epigraphic Survey
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Chicago House, Luxor, Egypt
July 22, 2014