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Robert H. Johnston digital audio recordings

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0638

Scope and Contents

Digital recordings of two events during Robert H. Johnston's time at RIT. One is Johnston talking about RIT and especially the College of Fine and Applied Arts, School of Arts and Design and the School for American Craftsmen. He discusses how these graduates are prepared for lie and to enjoy the life they choose. The second recording is the audio portion for a slide show narrated by Johnston about the lighlights of RIT.

Original cassette recordings were digitized on 2/20/2015.


  • Creation: circa 1970

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Robert H. Johnston (1928-2005) was born on July 1, 1928, in Reading, Pa. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and then studied art at what was then Kutztown State Teacher's College. He earned a master's degree in art from Columbia University. He taught at Lock Haven University and simultaneously studied for a doctorate in archaeology at Penn State University, which he earned in 1970.

Robert Johnston started at the Rochester Institute of Technology as dan of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, a position he held for nearly 20 years. He later was director of the institute's Chester Carlson Center for Imaging Science. During his time at RIT, he worked in digital imaging to tease out ancient text, often minute fragments of individual characters, that had not been seen for as long as 2,000 years. Along with the Dead Sea Scrolls, texts from the time of Christ, Johnston decoded parts of a 10th-century parchment copy of a famous treatise by the Greek mathematician Archimedes that had been used as the fabric for a 13th-century prayer book, among other projects.

Johnston passed away at his home in Brighton, NY in 2005 at the age of 77.


2 Digital File(s) (Digital audio files)




Digital audio recordings of Robert H. Johnston during his time at RIT. Dr. Robert H. Johnston spent twenty years as a professor and administrator at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He eventually became the Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. In 1990 he was named a Special Assistant to the President of R.I.T. Dr. Johnston most known for developing a system of using digital imaging to decode damaged and ancient texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls.


The collection is arranged by title.

Physical Location

For access, contact RIT Archive Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jennifer Roeszies in November 2015.

Robert H. Johnston audio recordings
RIT Archives
Jennifer Roeszies
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA