The Oriental Institute has released a new book titled Digital Epigraphy, a manual for the methods that they are using to record items found in their Epigraphic Survey.

During the past several decades the Epigraphic Survey has refined its conventions and recording methodologies to fit with the widely 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 our great pleasure to present the initial results here now. The digital formats in which this manual is made available are particularly appropriate and will be updated and changed regularly, since the manual will always be a work in progress. The possibilities are limitless.

The free volume is available from their website as either a PDF or ePub book.

Much of the volume is a primer on the use of Photoshop for photo manipulation, and Illustrator for the final vector drawings. They cover layer structures, brush selection, curves, manipulating vector paths, pattern creation, and more.


Screenshot from p. 108 of Digital Epigraphy

In short: this is essential and the manual that I wish I could write for those creating digital drawings in the field or in the research lab. I plan to make it required reading.