Immersive Scholarship Featured Projects

Check out ongoing and completed digital humanities-based projects
executed in collaboration with the Immersive Scholarship Team below.

Thinking in 3D: Utilizing the Future to Reimagine the Past

Spring 2022

Thinking in 3D: Utilizing the Future to Reimagine the Past was curated in response to conversations surrounding the newfound responsibility museums and digital humanities centers have to digitally preserve objects in their collections. Featuring 3D printed objects and artifact replicas from the fields of classics, archaeology, and art history, this exhibition utilizes 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies to explore the capabilities of these tools for research, education, and entertainment. Additionally, Thinking in 3D examines the potential promise of using 3D digital technologies for audience engagement, research, and education while additionally considering the ethical and social challenges of adopting these technologies, both now, and in the future.

DigiNole 3D Model Viewer Feature Update

Summer 2021 — Present

Since the summer of 2021, the Immersive Scholarship team has been working with the libraries’ Web Development team to implement a new web-native 3D model viewer into the FSU Institional Repository, DigiNole. This feature will provide researchers working with 3D models as part of their scholarly outputs (papers, monographs, or digital projects) a place to deposit their work. DigiNole provides online access to products of original FSU research through the Research Repository, and the archival preservation of digital materials in the Digital Library. This 3D viewer will allow users to interact with materials natively in their web browser, without needing to download or run resource-intensive 3D modelling software on their own computers.

Lighthouse of the Big Bend Archaeology Day

October 2021

In partnership with the Classics Archaeology Club and the Anthropology Club, the Immersive Scholarship team was invited to create 3D models for “Lighting the Way to Archaeology,” an annual archaeology-based outreach event hosted by student clubs from Florida State University. Lighting the Way to Archaeology is a program where tactile activities and 3D printed objects are used to give visually impaired participants physical access to ancient Etruscan artifacts and the processes of archaeological excavation. The project specifically works with children from the Lighthouse of the Big Bend of Florida (LBB), a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping people with vision loss through direct services, community engagement, and education.

The event this year was hosted at Mission San Luis, with student volunteers from the Classics Archaeology Club, Eta Sigma Phi (Classics Honor Society), the Anthropology Graduate Club, and the Anthropology Undergraduate Club with themes centered around ancient Roman and Etruscan foodways. As part of our collaboration, the Immersive Scholarship team collected 3D digital models related to Greek, Roman, and Etruscan culture and foodways using Sketchfab, a website that hosts user-uploaded 3D, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) content. The objects ultimately chosen to be printed for the project were: Bronze Corinthian Helmet, Stemmed Bowl, Skyphos, Kantharos, Eye Kylix, Roman Lamp, and Roman Silver Coins (Denarius) (these models are all free to download, with courtesy to the respective institutions).

To read more details about this project, please visit the blog page here.

FSU Biomedical Engineering Project

Summer 2021

In the summer of 2021, a team of researchers from the Biological Engineering program reached out to the Immersive Scholarship team for help prototyping a model “swimmer” that could navigate in a liquid. The details necessary in this model required the use of the Immersive Scholarship team’s high-resolution Formlabs Form 2 SLA resin printer. In consultation with the Immersive Scholarship team, the model went through several iterations that refined the experimental iteration features of the model including the twist and angle of the “tails,” the density of the “head” to maintain neutral buoyancy, and specific aspects of the model required to retain print-ability.

Florence Study Center Museum Exhibition

Summer 2021

In collaboration with Dr. Nancy de Grummond of the FSU Classics department and head of the long-running Cetamura del Chianti excavation in Tuscany, Italy, DRS contributed several 3D printed artefact replicas for a new museum display unveiled at the FSU Florence Study Center in the summer of 2021. This year marks the 48th anniversary of the FSU-helmed excavation, and the first in a new study center in Florence. To mark the occasion and share recent finds from the excavation of the Etruscan and Roman site at Cetamura, replicas of several archaeological finds were produced to give FSU Florence students and visitors insight into the various types of finds this site has produced.

Chief among these objects are replicas of a late-Roman Republican terra cotta jar found in the summer of 2015, made for a “Treasure of Chianti” co-exhibition housed at the FSU Florence Study Center museum and displayed at the Santa Maria della Scala museum in Siena, Italy. This jar was discovered to contain almost 200 silver coins from the late Roman Republic. Unlike the extremely fragile terra cotta, the jar replicas are able to be handled and observed by museum attendees and provide a more interactive experience for museum guests.

The coin-filled jar is not the only DRS-produced object on display at the FSU Florence Study Center, however. In additional collaboration with the Cetamura team, DRS also worked to provide models of architectural features of the Chianti site previously exhibited at the FSU Classics Week exhibit March 2-6, 2020. These models were displays of potential configurations of the city walls of the Cetamura site throughout the medieval period. These models trace not only the development of the site through time, but also represent development in the 3D modeling process by the Classics student researcher as they gained skills in consultation with the Digital Scholarship Librarian. This exhibit is paired with a larger topology of the overall Cetamura site produced in collaboration with the Classics Department Archaeology Club and the FSU Innovation Hub that represents extant architectural features of the Cetamura hilltop. 6

The Cetamura exhibit at FSU Florence also contains DRS-printed replicas of preserved ancient grape seeds discovered in an Etruscan well at the Cetamura site. These seeds—printed in both life-sized and extra-large scale— are interesting because they show the development of agricultural domestication throughout the Etruscan and Roman periods, with the models showing clearly that the domesticated grapes come to exhibit a longer, “frillier” stem (left) compared to the wild grape seeds (right). In a region of Tuscany known for its wine in the present and in ancient times, the history of the Cetamura grapes are of continued interest to historians, agricultural scientists, and wine connoisseurs alike!

DRS also contributed 3D printed architectural and sculptural model replicas of famous Florentine landmarks for use in a beginner-level Art History course at the FSU Florence study center. Due to lasting effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many museums and exhibits in Italy were closed or severely restricted at the beginning of the summer when classes in Florence resumed. Based on these limitations, it was unknown the extent that students would be able to interact in-person with the city’s famous Renaissance history. DRS collaborated with the instructor to provide several examples of buildings and sculpture that were used to supplement students’ engagement with Florentine history, even as the city began to lift pandemic restrictions and slowly re-open.

More information about the Florence exhibit can be found here, and the Siena coinage exhibit can be viewed here.

“Art Appreciation” Classroom Instruction

Summer 2021

During the summer of 2021, an instructor for the FSU International Programs’ Florence Study Center requested 3D-printed models of famous Florentine architecture and sculpture to assist in teaching the students of an art appreciation class. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly-changing nature of museum and gallery closings, teaching on-location at these sites was expected to be impossible, and backup options like these models allowed for the display of various aspects of architectural and art historical components even without access to the physical originals. In a wonderful moment of luck, however, the museums reopened shortly after the summer semester started, and the teaching models were able to merely be supplemental rather than replacements!

3D Printing COVID-19 Face Shields at FSU Libraries

Spring 2020

As one of the most tangible parts of DRS’s support of immersive scholarship, 3D printing serves as a way to combine aspects of digital cultural heritage work, innovative research output, and interactive pedagogical practice. Several projects were undertaken over the last year to contribute to the exploration of what “research outputs” can look like in modern scholarly practice, and contributed to public and student engagement with otherwise restricted cultural heritage objects. Due to travel and other restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, methods for displaying and engaging with cultural heritage research such as 3D printing were more in use than ever before. Several projects undertaken by DRS over the last year also directly contributed to efforts to address health concerns over accessing spaces while pandemic restrictions and lockdowns were in full force. 

In the early Spring of 2020, in an attempt to help mitigate the effects of supply-chain shortages and unavailability of personal protective equipment caused by the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, DRS contributed to a coordinated FSU effort to supply 3D-printed face shields to first responders in the Tallahassee region. This effort was coordinated primarily through the FSU College of Medicine and the Innovation Hub, with contributions by the Master Craftsman Studio and other campus units, including DRS. More information about this effort can be found here, on the Immersive Scholarship Team Blog page. In total, just shy of 150 shields were contributed to a community effort to prevent the spread of the disease and protect library employees.