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Subject: Color standards

Color standards

From: Beatrix Arendt <barendt>
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2001
We are archaeologists writing from Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's
home in Virginia. We are attempting to set a standard of colors for
our new cataloging database. As you can imagine, we are having some
difficulties in choosing colors. We are currently using the Munsell
Book of Color as our main source. What we would like to do is to set
up within our larger database a series of color names and assorted

For all the years that archaeologists have worked, we have never
been able to be consistent in our methodology. That is what our
database is attempting to accomplish. We all know that my blue is
not your blue, so on and so forth. So we would like to say, "these
'x' blue chips that we pulled from Munsell's color books are going
to be the range for 'blue.' And these 'y' chips are the range for
light blue." That way, when an archaeologist looks at other's
reports from different sites, they will be able to know exactly what
range of blues they were talking about. We are hoping it will take
out some of the subjectivity of color choice. It is a first attempt
at speaking the same "language."

We originally wanted to do it mathematically, i.e. finding the
perfect mixture of RGB and then getting a Munsell code which we
could pull. But I've been informed that this is something that a lot
of scientists have been struggling with for a long time. On to the
question: does anyone have any suggestion as to how we can go
about systemizing our color description? Is the only way we can go
about it is using a spectrophotometer? Thanks in advance,

Beatrix Arendt and Jesse Sawyer
Digital Analysts
Monticello Archaeology

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:63
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 22, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-63-015
Received on Wednesday, 16 May, 2001

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