Project details

Full project title: VirtuAL

Duration: 1 September 2001 to 30 August 2002

Funded by: European Union

Project lead: Nada Brkljac

Project summary

The VirtuAL project aimed to design and establish a new methodology for creating a web based prototype model for multimedia recording and publishing of historic collections of cathedrals or similar historic buildings.

The primary objective of the project was to develop a prototype for web based historic collections where an interactive 3D VRML model as a metaphor of the place was integrated with an underlying multimedia database providing a portal for exploration and retrieval of data.

The purpose of the prototype was 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 was based on the example of a Cathedral in Wells (Somerset, UK), it trialled 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.

Project outcomes

The VirtuAL project aimed to deliver:

  • A digital collection of the recorded selection of data and artefacts from the Cathedral's archive and library
  • A sustainable multimedia database accommodating a digitised record with integrated search facilities and web format output for publishing on the web
  • Improved and enhanced access to the archive and library collection which will minimise visitors damage to fragile objects
  • A methodology for digital recording and retrieval of information for historic collections
  • A prototype website model capable of adjusting and expanding, applicable to various sizes and types of historic collections
  • Evaluation, appraisal of benefits and difficulties in creating the prototype via seminars of users ranging from scholars to the general public