E-Curator prototype

The E-Curator application basically consists of two major parts: the server and the client.

Software scheme

The server

The server comprises three major software components: the Storage Resource Broker (SRB), MetaData Catalog (MCAT) and e-Curator middleware. The SRB and MCAT systems are software produced by San Diego Supercomputer Centre (SDSC). The SRB is an e-Science storage system, which is used to store large 3D scan images; while MCAT is a metadata repository system, which is used to store metadata drawn from museum catalogues. E-Curator middleware handles user requests and responses sent via the Internet.

The client

On the client side, curators and conservators can access the 3D object scans and catalogue information via the e-Curator website. The website enables users to compare records collected at different institutions and stored remotely, or collected over a period of time under different conditions. The full 3D colour data provide rotational viewing and allow users to freely observe the virtual representation of the object from any viewpoint and over a range of magnifications. By using mouse clicks, users can zoom, rotate, tumble and pan the 3D scans. Such scans supplemented by the catalogue information could be used in many ways. They could aid identification, for example enabling the reading of hitherto illegible inscriptions on degraded surfaces. They could enable curators in different institutions to compare closely ostensibly similar artefacts without travelling to see them. They could assist in the monitoring of decay and environmental damage over time, both within a museum or gallery or more critically when objects travel, for instance in touring exhibitions. The data is also reliable enough to be used by insurer to verify the condition of touring artifacts.