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DRI is Participating in ‘Twin it! 3D for Europe’s Culture’

Submitted on 23rd June 2023

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The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is delighted to announce that we are participating in Twin it! 3D for Europe’s Culture, launched 21 June 2023!

The Campaign is led by the European Commission and the Europeana initiative, under the auspices of the ongoing Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the upcoming Spanish and Belgian Presidencies. It aims to contribute to achieving the ambitious objectives set by the European Commission in its recommendation of 10 November 2021 on a common European data space for cultural heritage. The Recommendation encourages EU Member States to accelerate the digitisation of all cultural heritage monuments and sites, objects, and artefacts for future generations and to protect and preserve sites deemed at risk. The Recommendation also sets targets for content contribution to the data space both in terms of new high quality records and 3D digital assets.

Under ‘Twin it!’, each one of the 27 EU Ministries of Culture will be invited to submit one 3D digitised heritage asset to the data space. The selected asset can be deemed at risk, among the most physically visited monuments, buildings, and sites, or belong to a category with a low level of digitisation, directly supporting the Recommendations’ goals.   

As a trusted digital repository (TDR) for Ireland’s cultural heritage digital data, DRI is committed to broadening access to culture and advancing collective efforts to preserve 3D models of cultural heritage sites and historic buildings for sustained access. We have, therefore, been working with our members on collecting and preserving 3D cultural heritage data with the potential for reuse in domains such as education, sustainable tourism, and cultural creative sectors.

DRI preserved our first 3D data object in 2020 – a 3D face shield designed by DRI Software Engineer Mashal Ahmad. This timely object was preserved during the pandemic, when tech groups were coming together as a community to use 3D printing of face shields to address the worldwide shortage of protective equipment for healthcare professionals.

Support for 3D digitisation is becoming more widespread; however, as Dr Kathryn Cassidy points out:

3D content comes…with a whole host of problems from a preservation perspective. There are a huge number of different hardware and software platforms as well as data formats and standards, many of which are proprietary. There is a very real concern over how we can ensure that the wealth of 3D data currently being produced will continue to be accessible and available for viewing and interacting with in the future.

Dr Kathryn Cassidy, Experiences Preserving 3D Data at the Digital Repository of Ireland, Sept 2020

Twin it! 3D for Europe’s Culture represents an exciting opportunity to showcase Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as Europe’s capacity for and excellence in 3D digitisation. It will support our joint efforts towards a significant and sustained increase of high-quality, usable and accessible 3D cultural content in the data space.

We look forward to sharing more news as the campaign unfolds! Read more about the campaign on the Europeana website.

DRI is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

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