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17-May-2016 12:47

We will focus on the creation of these works and the age-­‐old collaboration between publisher and author.

We've been asked to speak from the publishers' perspective, but we will speak here not as publishers in the business sense, but as publishers from the editor's perspective.

Our topic today is the publishing of digital scholarship, most especially the currency of the realm in the humanities: the monograph.

Our colleagues on this panel are addressing readership, economics, legal issues, and access to and preservation of digital scholarship.

There are a great many, I mean, many thousands of papyri that are sitting in boxes in dark hallways, waiting to be read.

ABC News Videosource American Red Cross BBC Motion Gallery Corbis The Egypt Exploration Society Getty Images Cynthia Goldsmith Greg Hensley Productions Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Iowa State University Library/Special Collections Department Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside National Archives The National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D. Sam Ogden/Photo Researchers Louie Psihoyos/Science Faction Quill Graphics San Francisco Chronicle US Naval Historical Center University of Michigan Papyrus Collection This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Well, what if the secret words aren't part of a kids' board game, but instead are on a crumbling, ancient manuscript? These are only a few of the faded fragments found buried near the outskirts of what was, at around the turn from B. Yet somehow, buried above the water tables and beneath the dry sands of Egypt, for all those centuries, almost half a million of these papyri fragments survived, these pieces of ancient paper made from papyrus. You shave the stalk into thin strips, lay them parallel to each other, lay strips running perpendicular to them; you pound it or press it, such that the cell walls break down.

Uncounted thousands are illegible, in shreds, soiled.

But now, we've got a complete text of these verses in a late second and early third, perhaps, century copy.

I don't know how long we have, until the things sitting in shoeboxes in this or that university turn to dust, but we've got to get rolling.

The fragile fragment is put on a moving imaging bed under a scientific-grade digital camera, which captures high-definition images of the fragment, through a succession of color filters, one filter at a time, a dozen different filters in all.

The light in the range of the spectrum visible to the naked eye, reflects off whatever is on the surface of most of the papyri pieces, the stains, dirt, mummy paint, whatever.And then "Eis touto gar Christos apethanen," "for this reason did Christ die." And it is now our earliest copy for these verses.