UCL Petrie Museum launches 3D online object library

30 April 2014

UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, which holds one of the top specialist collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the world, has launched an interactive online 3D object library, allowing visitors to view the artefacts in the same way as curators.

UCL Petrie Museum launches 3D online object library

With funding from Arts Council England, the Museum is making high quality 3D images of artefacts from its collection available through a web-based library in order to improve remote accessibility and engagement.

“The aim of our 3D imaging programme is to allow visitors to see artefacts in ways not possible in traditional museum displays. The 3D image library gives online visitors the type of access only curators have – the public can now virtually handle objects and closely examine the smallest details of their composition.” says Tonya Nelson, Head of Museums and Collections.

Powered by cutting-edge photographic 3D imaging and scanning technology and WebGL interactive visualisation, the library allows visitors to rotate and zoom in on the 3D images of artefacts, catching fine details often not visible to the naked eye.

The 3DPetrie team has developed a unique methodology combining reference photography and 3D imaging with a curatorial review of the actual object to its digital counterpart. The Petrie Museum hopes to share this process with other museums, encouraging the digitisation and increased accessibility of collections.

The 3D image library gives online visitors the type of access only curators have – the public can now virtually handle objects and closely examine the smallest details of their composition.

Tonya Nelson

This is just the latest in a series of 3D interactives produced by the Petrie Museum. It has previously released ‘Tour of the Nile’, a 3D augmented reality application for iPad. The Museum plans to expand the image library to include a section in which visitors will be able to learn the history of objects from their use in Ancient Egypt to their excavation in the 19th century to their present location in the Petrie Museum galleries through a series of 3D-enriched navigation tools.

3DPetrie is a collaboration with UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering and business partner Arius 3D.

Links

Image

  • Foot cover for a Mummy (Courtesy of 3DPetrie)