Media Services Architect
This presentation explores digital archive issues associated with two on-line archive projects completed by Northwestern University. It examines how the subjects were changed into two new digital objects, related to the original, but in fact transformed by the process into new creations for study. The two production processes demonstrated and discussed are: (1) the acquisition of digital imagery from the mural paintings at Dunhuang, China, for the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive, a component of ARTSTOR; and (2) the capture, post-production and presentation of the 1880 Robinson Insurance map, a component of the upcoming electronic edition of the Encyclopedia of Chicago, a joint project of the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University.
Northwestern University, in collaboration with the Dunhuang Research Academy and funded by the Mellon Foundation, conducted a four-year effort completely documenting 21 cave grottoes in complete high resolution photographs, and 40 grottoes in QTVR navigable imagery. The resulting online presentation model of the imagery in a resolution-independent, zoomable model goes beyond merely transforming the objects – it redefines the nature of what it means to experience the medieval Buddhist mural paintings.
The Robinson Fire Insurance map is an extensive map of the city of Chicago from 1880. Designed to be a comprehensive record of all of the buildings and structures at that time, it is five volumes in size, comprised of 260 separate 22 x 32 inch pages. The presentation of this data into a page model, single plates, an online bound volume viewer, and then a unified seamless texture combining all 260 plates into one resolution-independent navigable image, again transforms a single source into a new digital object.