Inbetween eBaying, I actually do some research. Yesterday headed over to Oxford for a meeting at the e-Science Research Centre about our "e-Science, Text and Technology" project, which just officially kicked off in January, so the new members of staff are hitting their stride now. Its a good team, and things are starting to move along now - hope to have something interesting to share at some point soon. The project runs for the next 3 years. No website yet - its on the to do list over the next few months.
The aim of the project is to provide computational tools to aid those in reading ancient texts, which are often damaged, abraded, and very difficult to read. We're developing image processing tools to aid in cleaning up "dirty" images, and to detect candidate handwriting strokes on difficult text, etc. We're also looking at decision maintenance systems, and how we can build a computational environment which will facilitate the reading of a document, and the documentation of that reading, so that those who come up with a reading can do so integrating the different linguistic and palaeographic datasets available, and keep a note of how and why they reached a certain interpretation. This is something which is crucially missing from the documentation of most readings of difficult texts.
Exciting stuff, huh? I'm now going to start looking at different palaeographic annotation tools which are available, so we can design our own with the best bits incorporated. (If anyone has any ideas regarding image markup tools for letter forms, or can point me to existing systems I dont know about already, do give me a shout).