Learning is no longer confined to the classroom. On line access to archives, collections, and exhibitions is democratizing knowledge, creating opportunities to museums, and redefining their centuries-long role. A middle-schooler living in Crete can access on a whim Albrecht Dürer’s self-portrait displayed in the Alte Pinakothek, while seniors working on their Abitur can access the icons collection of the Athens Byzantine Museum. To reap the opportunities created by a quarter century of technological evolution, cultural administrators must weave together their physical and digital worlds. At IKH, we believe that a successful digital-physical mash-up of cultural repositories augments the visitor’s physical experience, extends access, and provides knowledge to the millions who cannot visit. The latter, closing the gap between formal and informal education, is especially valued in an era of increasing unequal opportunities for primary and secondary students.
The Athens War Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit military artifacts and memorabilia and to study, document, and present the battles of the Greek people from antiquity to the past. IKH brought – in accordance to the hard constraints given by the museum’s administrators - a twentieth century institution to the digital era. Main aspects of our approach and solution were:
- Digitizing the museums exhibits with the use of 3D laser scanners, robotic scanners, digital cameras and appropriate software.
- Documenting in accordance to International Standards (Dublin Core, CIDOC-CRM, Spectrum).
- Digitizing and offering public access to its archival materials through eBooks and metadata.
- Organizing 70,000 exhibits, 65,000 photographs and 23,000 books in collections based on criteria such as geography, time-period, subject, medium and style.
- Designing and engineering a powerful collection management tool to address the needs of curators, conservators, and museum administrators. Web-based and highly configurable, the IKH software supports the diverse requirements of a modern-day museum.
- Engaging digital visitors through immersive virtual tours, a 3D gaming environment, and a state-of-the-art mobile application.