Aims and Objectives

The aims of Phase 1 were:

  • to make accessible to the public knowledge of the Crystal Palace and its collections.
  • to increase awareness of and stimulate research into the Crystal Palace and to broaden our understanding of the place and perception of Classics in the nineteenth century beyond the universities and museums by reconstructing the collection and display techniques of a private speculative enterprise that shaped and reflected mid century ideas of taste.
  • through dissemination and evaluation of our project to stimulate new approaches to teaching & learning, to encourage dialogue between academic institutions and the wider community¬†and to encourage the increasing use of digital technology within the Arts and Humanities to reach its full, interactive potential.

Our objectives of Phase 1 were:

  • to develop and digitise at the University of Bristol a collection of material from the Pompeii Court of the Crystal Palace in order to increase access to up until now scattered and vulnerable but rich resources.
  • to make that collection useful and engaging to a range of different user groups across UK education sectors, research communities and heritage industry through an interactive, online Model, presented in the popular virtual platform Second Life, and a Wetsite.
  • to help different user groups engage with the material in the Model through developing a number of both learning activities and interface techniques within Second Life.

The specific questions we evaluated in Phase 1 were:

  1. How accessible are the chosen technologies in practice?
  2. How user-friendly is the interface between the Model and the contained metadata?
  3. Do the educational/research benefits justify digitizing archives in this way?
  4. Does the Model satisfy the needs of such a varied audience?
  5. Do the methods used to archive the collection inform the users about the aims of the original Crystal Palace?

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