Democratizing the Digital Collection

New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage

in Museum Worlds
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  • 1 University of Western Australia jane-heloise.nancarrow@york.ac.uk
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ABSTRACT

Three-dimensional modeling and printing of museum artifacts have a growing role in public engagement and teaching—introducing new cultural heritage stakeholders and potentially allowing more democratic access to museum collections. This destabilizes traditional relationships between museums, collections, researchers, teachers and students, while offering dynamic new ways of experiencing objects of the past. Museum events and partnerships such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Hackathon”; the MicroPasts initiative; and Sketchfab for Museums and Cultural Heritage, encourage non-traditional methods of crowd-sourcing and software collaboration outside the heritage sector. The wider distribution properties of digitized museum artifacts also have repercussions for object-based and kinesthetic learning at all levels, as well as for experiential and culturally sensitive aspects of indigenous heritage. This article follows the existing workflow from model creation to classroom: considering the processes, problems, and applications of emerging digital visualization technologies from both a museum and pedagogical perspective.

Contributor Notes

DR. JANE-HELOISE NANCARROW graduated with her BA (History and Politics) at the University of Western Australia in 2007 and undertook an MA in Medieval Studies before being awarded her PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of York in 2014. Her forthcoming monograph, Re-used Ruins: The Roman Past in Norman England, will be published by York Medieval Press in 2017. Dr. Nancarrow’s research encompasses three-dimensional digital modeling, and visualization in cultural heritage. Her 2016 project, “Emotions3-D: Bringing Digital Heritage of Emotions to Life,” with the Australian Research Council Centre for the History of Emotions, examines how emerging 3-D technologies can articulate the sociohistorical lives of museum artifacts.

Museum Worlds

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