Using modern multimedia to explore past culture

Europe possesses a fabulous cultural heritage in its great libraries. Their repositories are full of original documents, some centuries old, which often lie gathering dust in back rooms. However by combining the latest technologies with human expertise, it is possible to study them afresh and learn more about our past.

To get inside our ancestors' minds and see the world as they did, project SOURCE VIVE takes a series of historical texts to act as a starting point for unravelling history and culture. Europe's cultural heritage can be economically exploited by bringing it to a general audience through multimedia technologies.

National libraries in Britain and France have made documents available. An example is Villard de Honnecourt's sketch book, a rich source for Gothic architecture. Interactivity allows the user to experiment with different ways of cutting stone and share the experience of that era's builders. Further multimedia applications look at Middle Ages heraldry, plants and gardens in Renaissance Europe and cartography in the Age of Exploration. The platform under development, in English and French, calls on the latest multimedia technologies for animation sequences and links to a dedicated World Wide Web site.

The SOURCE VIVE stand demonstrates ways of accessing and understanding European cultural heritage by delving into original sources. Using multimedia technology, visitors can explore previously inaccessible historical documents originating from the vaults of the two biggest libraries in the UK and France. A historian and scholar will be on hand to share their insights into the selected document. On display is the first compact disc title in a forthcoming series.

Contact Jacqueline CHIFFERT, Hexagramm2
tel +33 1 44 18 37 13
fax +33 1 44 18 37 13

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