Immersive Scholarship
Tools and Technologies

The Immersive Scholarship Team at FSU Libraries engages with a wide variety of tools and technologies to explore new modes of scholarly production.

Tools and Technologies

The Immersive Scholarship Team “collaborates with faculty, students, and researchers on finding, evaluating, and implementing digital tools and technologies to create innovative scholarly outputs. Our goal is to both meet individual needs and enhance the Library’s knowledge-base and technological capacities for supporting new kinds of scholarship.

Digital Cultural Heritage

What is Digital Cultural Heritage?

Digital Cultural Heritage is a sphere of work that emphasizes the sharing of culture through digital means. Work in the data humanities ranges from digital exhibitions in museums and libraries, to the work of scholars using computers to analyze literature and art, to the study of and engagement  with social media and social networks, to the practice of digital publication and media. As a  simultaneously academic and extra-academic field, crossing from research into practice, the “Data Humanities” embrace a vital network of methods and materials that bring together data  science, computing, and data curation, under the aegis of humanistic study.

3D printed artifact replicas sit on top of a table at DRS.

3D Modeling

What is 3D Modeling?Examples of 3D Models

The Immersive Scholarship Team uses a variety of 3D modeling tools and software to accurately digitize and replicate university-held collections, including rare archaeological objects and Florida State University-related memorabilia. This work is supported by several key technologies currently housed in the Research & Design Commons, an area on the ground floor of Strozier Library, which provides a space for workshops and project consultations. These technologies are:

  • Artec Space Spider 3D Scanner
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 Camera
  • Alienware M15 Laptop

Utilized in conjunction with these technologies are various open-source 3D modeling software including:

Immersive Scholarship GA uses a handheld 3D scanner to digitize an object from FSU Special Collections

Test models of objects from the Robert E. Hancock Jr. Antarctic Collection held at Florida State University Special Collections & Archives. Scanned with an Artec Spider and digitized through Artec Studio 14

3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing serves as a way to combine aspects of digital cultural heritage work, innovative research output, and interactive pedagogical practice. 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, are more in use than ever before.

The Immersive Scholarship team has collaborated on several projects over the last two years 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. Many of these projects also directly contributed to efforts to address health concerns over accessing spaces while pandemic restrictions and lock downs were in full force.

Detailed view of a 3D printed ‘kantharos,’ an ancient type of Greek cup.

Extended Reality

What is Extended Reality?Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is an emerging umbrella term that refers to immersive technologies including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), in addition to technologies that have yet to be created.

The Immersive Scholarship Team maintains two high-powered multimedia and VR-capable workstations for digital cultural heritage research.

  • Alienware Aurora R12 Desktop PC
    • 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-11900F @ 2.50GHz
    • 64GB DDR3 RAM
    • 4.5TB Combined Storage
    • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Card
  • Dell Precision 5810
    • Intel(R) Xeon(TM) E5-1630 v4 @ 3.70GHz
    • 48GB DDR3 ECC RAM
    • 1.25TB Combined Storage
    • Nvidia GTX 1080ti Graphics Card
  • Virtual Reality Systems
    • Oculus Rift + Touch
    • HTC Vive Pro

FSU student using a VR system to digitally explore an archaeological excavation site.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a method of presenting audio/visual media to users in a way that is immersive beyond merely visual modes of presentation. Through a specialized type of headset and motion controllers, VR technologies are being used to create entirely new education and entertainment experiences within museums, libraries, and at-home.

In a museum or cultural heritage institution, virtual reality is often used in conjunction with physical exhibitions to bring educational content to life through a fully immersive experience.

VR equipment is still relatively expensive making it an inaccessible technology for smaller museums, universities, libraries, and cultural centers.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on the real world 

  • Can be used to provide additional information about an artwork, artist, or exhibition
  • Possibilities of game-based education
  • Currently limited to smartphones and tablets

Felice Grodin’s Invasive Species, an augmented reality exhibition at PAMM

Data Visualization

What is Data Visualization?

Digital Cultural Heritage is a sphere of work that emphasizes the sharing of culture through digital means.

One way the libraries supports this is through Virtual Reality (VR). VR is a method of presenting audio/visual media to users in a way that is immersive beyond merely visual. Normally using a type of headset, VR endeavors at the libraries consist of several service points.

Volunteers from FSU’s Archaeology Club interact with children during Archaeology Day 2021.

GIS Mapping

What is GIS Mapping?

Maps and other geographical visualizations can be used to convey information about:

  • Monuments and historical sites
  • Population
  • Dissemination of texts/ ideas
  • Travel & travel narratives

Immersive Scholarship GA uses a handheld 3D scanner to digitize an object from FSU Special Collections.