Digitisation in Depth

The National Museum of Ireland is delighted to be involved with the Library Council's Digitisation in Depth project and the askaboutIreland web site.

This project has provided the opportunity for the National Museum's first practical implementation of 3D technology which involves laser scanning and imaging of objects from the National collections.

An initial 15 objects were chosen for this scanning project drawn from the collections of the Irish Antiquities Division and the Natural History Division of the National Museum which are housed at the Museum's sites at Kildare Street, Collins Barracks and Merrion Street in Dublin.

Some can currently be viewed on exhibition while others are from our reserve collections. This is noted in the information provided alongside each Quicktime VR model. We have chosen a diverse range of objects of different periods and made from a variety of materials such as bone, stone, flint, fired clay, bronze and silver. These images present a new and hitherto unexposed perspective on well known artifacts and artifact types as well as providing access to some objects which are likely to be less well known.

We have also provided some essential information and interesting facts about these discoveries. Several of the objects, particularly those dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods and to medieval times have been chosen in view of the current Second Level school curriculum and should be of assistance to students of archaeology and history at all levels.

We wish to remind viewers that in Ireland archaeological objects that are found and that have no known owner, are the property of the State. All finds must be reported to the Director of the National Museum and ex gratia finders' rewards may be paid.

The National Museum of Ireland also proposes to use the 3D models which have been produced for a number of different purposes. These include research applications and care of collections related usage such as digital documentation and to facilitate the making of more accurate conservation and condition records.

3D technology is constantly developing and holds potential for use throughout almost all Museum Departments. The National Museum's involvement in an EC funded project called ORION concerning the use of 3D in archaeological museums, provided us with our first experience of the potential for museums in this area of digitisation.

We look forward to developing our involvement in this area and in continuing to provide a new and exciting medium for access to the collections of the National Museum of Ireland.

For further information on the National Museum of Ireland, its collections and a wide variety of related activities and services please see www.museum.ie



The National Museum would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following:

Ms Annette Kelly, Assistant Director, Library Council of Ireland, Dublin

Dr Mike Spearman and Ms Sharyn Emslie of Kestrel 3D Ltd., Edinburgh and Belfast and their colleagues at the Laser Scanning Centres in Belfast and in Alva, Scotland

Grupo de Tratamiento de Imágenes ( Associate Prof. Luis Salgado), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Mr Evin McCarthy, Digital Media Centre, DIT Aungier Street.

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