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DigiCULT
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Info
2
quality research.
Since the last
newsletter the
DigiCULT team
has been joined by
Daisy Abbott (pic-
ture left) who com-
pleted both her
undergraduate studies in Theatre Film
and Television and a postgraduate degree
in information technology at the Universi-
ty of Glasgow. As well as contributing to
the overall work of DigiCULT Daisy will
be managing the production of newsletter
and occasionally contributing articles of
her own to it. Among the first of these is
her piece on the rescuing the BBC
Domesday Project. BBC Domesday aimed
to create a modern-day equivalent of the
record that William I created when he sent
out recorders in 1086 to every holding in
England.While the 900 year old volume
remains accessible today, the data in its
20th century equivalent had been rendered
inaccessible as a result of rapid technology
change.Two different approaches were
taken to rescue the BBC Domesday Pro-
ject, CAMiLEON developed an emulator,
and LongLife Data Ltd rescued and repre-
sented the data on a newer system.The
work of both groups was made more diffi-
cult by the lack of access to the original
system itself and to information about how
it worked. Some of the BBC Domesday
information can now be viewed by the
public on the LongLife Data System at the
United Kingdom's National Archives (Kew).
T
his article is accompanied by an
interview with Paul Wheatley
from the CAMiLEON project at
the University of Leeds Library who spoke
to DigiCULT.info about digital preserva-
tion and in particular the techniques and
challenges of emulating obsolete software.
E
xperts from Finland's national pub-
lic service broadcasting company,
YLE, have contributed an article
zens, but also have a tremendous impact on
the economy which stretches well beyond
the some 250,000 jobs in the European
Museum sector. There is a great disparity
in the numbers of museums per 100,000
inhabitants across European countries
according to the Guide to European
Museum Statistics (Institut für Museum-
kunde, Berlin 2003). For instance in
Norway there are 11.4, Italy 6.3, Nether-
lands 5.8, and the Slovak Republic and
Spain each have 1.9. Several of the edi-
tors of this newsletter have commented on
new museum developments in Spain such
as the Museum of Science in the Cuidad
de las Artes y les Ciencies (http://www.
cac.es) in Valencia and the Museo Arqueo-
lógico Provincial de Alicante (MARQ)
(http://www.marqalicante.com/) which
are at the forefront of museum design.
The MARQ is most notable for how it
has developed a dynamic space which uses
a diversity of media, both physical and vir-
tual, to introduce visitors to the archaeolo-
gy of the region and to the processes of
archaeology itself. In both instances there is
a focus on museums as learning environ-
ments and technology plas a role in
enabling this. We have noted several
reports that have been published during
the past few months among them the
Institute of Museum and Library Services
(IMLS) study True Needs,True Partners
2002, which found that the links with and
commitment to education by US museums
has greatly increased since 1994 and that
museums were activity promoting more
engaging ways for children to learn.
L
isa Spiro, Director of the e-Text
Centre at Rice University, describes
a project she is leading to create a
Learning Science and Technology Reposi-
tory (LESTER). It provides a gateway to
events, discussions and information about
the development of learning technologies.
The major aim of LESTER is to enable
collaboration in the LST communities
and to promote awareness of high
I
n our first Technology Watch Report
(2003) we examined the potential of
virtual reality in the cultural heritage
sector. Since its publication the ORION
project, to develop a Research Roadmap
and Network on 3D for Archaeology
Museums, has reported. This newsletter
includes an overview of the results of their
work, which are more fully available at
the ORION website (http:// www.orion-
net.org).The study of user practices and
needs uncovered higher than expected
take-up of 3D applications as well as a very
strong interest in future uses.There is
widespread recognition that 3D visualisa-
tions enable learning and open up learning
to wider social groups. Many european
museums with archaeological collections
already use 3D and they have found a
place in cultural scholarship as well.This
theme is also taken up in a short piece
about the work that Richard Beacham and
his colleagues at the University of Warwick
have done to demonstrate the power of
virtual reality technologies to enable inves-
tigations of ancient theatres.Their work
has shown that 3D reconstructions make it
feasible to uncover new insights into the
uses and cultural meanings of the buildings.
A
mong the other shorter pieces
is a discussion of the Digital
Object Identifier System (DOIs),
which explains how DOIs can help to
manage intellectual property in the digital
environment.They are persistent and
extensible and can be used to facilitate
access to individual digital objects and
collections (e.g., e-books).
I
n Europe the Network of European
Museum Organisations (http://www.
ne-mo.org) (NEMO) collects and
makes accessible `information to museums
on relevant EU initiatives, key legislative
policy and funding concerning the cultural
heritage'. They press the message that
museums make a major contribution to
not just the cultural life of European citi-