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n October the DigiCULT Forum
released its Thematic Issue 4: Learning
Objects from Cultural and Scientific Heritage
Resources.The Telematics Centre at the
University of Exeter has contributed to
this newsletter a further article on this
topic which examines issues surrounding
learning enabled through virtual exhibi-
tions.The discussion touches on such top-
ics as the way the interaction of `virtual
objects promoted an appreciation' of physi-
cal objects and encouraged in virtual visi-
tors a desire to see the real (or physical)
original.They report, much as the
Education team from ARKive did in the
last newsletter, that interactives need to add
value to content, not merely point to it.
imilarly Virtual Reality plays a signifi-
cant role as heritage institutions com-
municate about the heritage and research
cultural remains. DigiCULT has covered
some of these topics in earlier issues of this
Newsletter (e.g.Theatron in Issue 4) and in
its first Technology Watch Report (February
2003). In this issue we report on Cistercians
in Yorkshire, a project which is creating
learning materials centred around 3D
reconstructions of Cistercian buildings.The
theme of virtual reality is further investi-
gated by colleagues from the Cultural and
Educational Technology Institute (Greece)
in their presentation of work developing
multilingual presentation framework for
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) doc-
uments. PLEADE provides a set of tools to
build dynamic Websites.
iven the diversity of our domain,
DigiCULT.Info has great difficulty
selecting which conferences to cover and
would be delighted to receive suggestions
and even conference reviews. Once again
this year we report on the Digital
Resources in the Humanities Conference.
DRH2003 was held in Gloucester, UK, in
September.The continued success of the
DRH conferences reflects the increasing
dependence of academic researchers and
heritage professionals on ICT.
he numbers of academic institutions
building humanities and arts infor-
matics programmes is also growing. For
example, this December marks the second
anniversary of the launch of the New
Zealand eText Centre based at the Victoria
University. In a recent interview its
Director Elizabeth Styron described her
strategic approach to creating a sustainable
unit. Her efforts are establishing an aca-
demically grounded centre that delivers
effective services for public sector bodies,
cultural heritage institutions and commer-
cial enterprises.
igiCULT Forum has considered dig-
ital asset management systems from
several perspectives as a thematic issue
(number 2) in September 2002 and again
in March 2003 in our first Technology
Watch Report. Paul Conway, Director of
Information Technology Services at Duke
University Libraries, has offered us an in-
depth look at Zope, an open source con-
tent management system (CMS).While he
has examined the use of Zope from a
higher education perspective, many of the
issues that he raises also apply to Cultural
Heritage institutions in particular, his
conclusion that content management tech-
nology can be a `useful lever of innovation
for libraries in a federated institutional
environment'. In particular he argues that
`university libraries have new opportunities
for leadership and influence on campus.'
Could we extend his argument further
by claiming that through extending its
access to heritage materials cultural institu-
tions can extend their influence? Our
French correspondent notes that the
New Cultural Portal launched by the
French Minister of Culture is a Zope-
based solution.
n the last issue Andrew McHugh intro-
duced the topic of open source software
and in this issue we take up the topic again
with an article on PLEADE, a flexible
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