University of Sussex
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Reanimating cultural heritage through digital technologies

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:46 authored by Wei Zhang
Digital technologies are becoming extremely important for web-based cultural heritage applications. This thesis presents novel digital technology solutions to 'access and interact' with digital heritage objects and collections. These innovative solutions utilize service orientation (web services), workflows, and social networking and Web 2.0 mashup technologies to innovate the creation, interpretation and use of collections dispersed in a global museumscape, where community participation is achieved through social networking. These solutions are embedded in a novel concept called Digital Library Services for Playing with Shared Heritage (DISPLAYS). DISPLAYS is concerned with creating tools and services to implement a digital library system, which allows the heritage community and museum professionals alike to create, interpret and use digital heritage content in visualization and interaction environments using web technologies based on social networking. In particular, this thesis presents a specific implementation of DISPLAYS called the Reanimating Cultural Heritage system, which is modelled on the five main functionalities or services defined in the DISPLAYS architecture, content creation, archival, exposition, presentation and interaction, for handling digital heritage objects. The main focus of this thesis is the design of the Reanimating Cultural Heritage system's social networking functionality that provides an innovative solution for integrating community access and interaction with the Sierra Leone digital heritage repository composed of collections from the British Museum, Glasgow Museums and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. The novel use of Web 2.0 mashups in this digital heritage repository also allows the seamless integration of these museum collections to be merged with user or community generated content, while preserving the quality of museum collections data. Finally, this thesis tests and evaluates the usability of the Reanimating Cultural Heritage social networking system, in particular the suitability of the digital technology solution deployed. Testing is performed with a user group composed of several users, and the results obtained are presented.


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  • eng


University of Sussex

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