The MUBIL project has been working with the creation of a hybrid exhibition space where the content of the historical archives of the NTNU University library, made up by books and manuscripts of fragile nature, have become accessible to a wider public. Users have been invited (and still are, in several workshops still being organized) to a lab environment where they interact with specific objects of the collections through a virtual interaction. A digital learning space has been therefore created within the physical space of the library using Virtual Reality technologies. The main aim is to allow the users of the laboratory to experiment with the “objects” of past in a 3D virtual environment, within an educational frame that supports learning. The aim in our view was to reinforce public interest by creating dynamic linkages between old collections and new technology, communication platforms, exhibition layouts and educational programs. That is to use technological applications to reinterpret cultural collections and reinforce knowledge production.
The project has ended in October 2013, and has been structured into different levels of development using different visualization and interaction metaphors. The first metaphor is the “Augmented Book”, an outside-in immersive exploration of a digital copy of the real manuscript placed in a three-dimensional context. A second metaphor, the “Information Landscape” , has been conceived to enable the inside-out immersive exploration of books, by placing the book content (actual passages of text) in an abstract interactive environment. The third metaphor, the “Virtual Environment” has been conceived as a sort of playground where to implement the knowledge acquired with the experience of one of the above-mentioned metaphors.
The project has been coordinated by Alexandra Angeletaki from NTNU’s Gunnery Library, Trondheim (NO).