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Virtual Archive and Library for Cathedrals

Objective

The objective of this project for a Virtual Archive and Library is to develop a prototype for Web based historic collections based on the 3D model as a metaphor of a Cathedral building with an underlying multimedia database. This objective will be achieved in three stages: digital recording of selected data and artefacts (WP1), creation of a database containing an enhanced catalogue of metadata with multimedia records of artefacts (WP2) compiled with and accessible through an interactive portal / 3D VRML model generated from MapInfo (GIS) system and the Pavan VRML authoring system. The prototype will represent an invaluable complement to the viewing of the collection, add to the visitor experience and develop a methodological framework for Web views of site based historic collections, which can be applied to others. Delivery of the prototype via the Web will accommodate local and distributed users groups and allow alternative views of the data and the historic collection.

Objectives:
The primary objective of the project is to develop a prototype for Web based historic collections where an interactive 3D VRML model as a metaphor of the place is integrated with an underlying multimedia database providing a portal for exploration and retrieval of data. The purpose of the prototype is to improve and provide an integrated access to the historic collection through a user-friendly interface in the form of a 3D model, as well as to set up a new framework and methodology for recording and designing a multimedia database for historic collections. Although the project is based on the example of a Cathedral in Wells (Somerset, UK) it will trial novel digitising methods and computer technologies in order to create a methodological framework which once evaluated can be applied as an improved methodology for recording, managing and presenting any historic collections of a similar type and scale in Europe on the Web.

Work description:
To achieve the objectives of this Take-Up Action the project has been organised into six workpackages.
WP1 - Create a digital record of selected data and artefacts from the Cathedral inventory.
WP2 - Design a multimedia database for publishing on the Web
WP3 - Create and publish interactive a 3D Web based model based on Wells Cathedral and its environs
WP4 - Measurement and evaluation of the prototype.
WP5 - Dissemination and exploitation.
WP6 - Project management.

The first three work-packages will involve the design, development and integration of the prototype:
create a digital record of the selected artefacts and records form the Cathedral's Archive and Library;
design a sustainable multimedia database for publishing on the Web;
design and integration of search facilities: linking of the database with digitised records with a 3D VRML model - create an interactive 3D VRML model of the Cathedral and its environs.

Survey data will be entered into a GIS, a 3D model generated and integrated with the underlying multimedia database. The 3D model will provide visual and technological access to the historic collection and allow exploration of the record.
Work-package 4 is the evaluation and measurement of the prototype. In this work-package archivists and librarians from Europe, together with computer specialists and generalist focus groups will be brought together, both physically and virtually to exchange views, to evaluate the prototype and appraise the benefits and difficulties of broader implementation.
Work-package 5 is the publishing/ dissemination and exploitation package. The proceedings, the evaluation and analysis of the project as well as the reports will be published on the prototype's Web site.
Work-package 6 is project management which aim's to ensure the project is well managed. It will ensure that high quality outputs are delivered, the timetable is followed and the limit of the budget is not exceeded. It will be organised around 4 key actors: The project co-ordinator UWE, Bristol, Wells Cathedral, the Steering Committee and the Advisory Board. This work-package will also ensure that all relevant information is passed on the European Commission.

Milestones:
-A digital collection of the data and artefacts
-A sustainable database of the record with integrated search facilities for publishing on the Web Improved and enhanced access to the collection which will minimise visitors damage to fragile objects
-A methodology for digital recording and retrieval of information for historic collections
-A prototype Website capable of adjusting and expanding, applicable to historic collections
-Evaluation, appraisal of benefits and difficulties in creating the prototype via seminars to the users ranging from scholars to the general public.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND, BRISTOL
Address
Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1QY Bristol
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

THE CHAPTER OF WELLS CATHEDRAL
United Kingdom
Address
Chain Gate, Cathedral Green
BA5 2DU Wells