A photograph of an octopus-themed artist's book from ODY's Special Collections.
The Digital Scholarship team at St. Lawrence University has been awarded a $10,000 Action Grant from the Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) for specialized 3D imaging equipment and software. The new equipment will allow for the creation of 3D models of objects, architecture, and locations. The resulting models can be used for a variety of research and instructional purposes, and virtualizing campus materials, buildings, and locations will make them more accessible for a variety of users.
Eric Williams-Bergen, Director of Digital Scholarship and Research and the project coordinator, has recently been working with 3D imaging technologies to create models of artists' books. Students would normally view these books by visiting ODY’s Special Collections, but campus social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a new approach. One benefit of the 3D models is that they will provide increased access to these materials both during and after the pandemic.
"I am excited to increase our capacity to virtualize key materials," Williams-Bergen said. "While none of this replaces the value of students experiencing scholarly materials in person, providing a digital surrogate helps us continue to support the university’s educational mission during the COVID-19 era."
The new equipment and software will also be used to create 3D models of objects that are part of the campus storytelling program, The Object Project. Nicole Roché, Project Support Assistant for Digital Scholarship and director of the Object Project, said the 3D models will add a whole new dimension to the ongoing storytelling project.
"I hope these virtual models, which will allow people to view the objects up close and in detail, will allow us to recreate in some small way the intimacy of holding and looking at the objects in person," Roché said.