The winter weather may be keeping us indoors, but it’s given us the opportunity to try out some new things! Over the past few weeks, we’ve been trying out some 3D modelling of artifacts. As part of our grant from the National Endowment for Humanities, we are working on expanding interpretation on both a physical and digital level. Technological tools and digital projects offer the opportunity to reach new audiences, such as millennials who are more attracted to digital media and distance learners who cannot visit the museum in person.

These models also allow visitors to interact with artifacts and see the object in its entirety. Take a look at this sample model of a corn shuck doll:

Models like these will provide an interactive experience. While they are not perfect substitutes for the physical objects, for individuals who cannot visit the museum, models like this provide a more engaging method for learning about Appalachian culture!The tool used to create these models is called photogrammetry. This is a process for creating 3D representations from 2D images. We are currently testing artifacts of various textures and sizes to improve our approach to photogrammetry and build a library of 3D models. These will eventually be incorporated through digital exhibits on the website. While we are still in the beginning stages of this project, over the course of the next few months we will be identifying candidates to be incorporated into these exhibits.

We are excited to continue our work in this area and hope to release our first digital exhibit in spring or early summer. We will provide updates through our social media channels, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about our ongoing work and see behind-the-scenes content!

~ Kami Ahrens
Assistant Curator