Julie Mell, NC State Associate Professor of History, and NC State Librarian and History MA alum Shaun Bennett remotely presented their use of the visualization studio and 3D printing for teaching at University College Cork’s “Rediscovering the Vikings” international conference. The meeting brought together academics, cultural heritage professionals, and museum representatives with an interest in community engagement, cultural heritage and reception studies to discuss new approaches to the Viking Age and possibilities for involving the public in the study of the period. This conference was a launch of the World-Tree Project — a large-scale community collection initiative in the field of Old Norse and Viking Studies, funded by an Irish Research Council ‘New Horizons’ Grant. http://www.worldtreeproject.org/conf
In their talk, entitled “Immersive Visualizations and 3D-Printed Objects in the Teaching & Curating of Viking Sites and Artifacts,” Mell and Bennett discussed two new technologies used for the teaching and research of Medieval Scandinavian history at NC State University — 3D printing and visualization studios with 360-degree projection. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the teaching of material culture and access to Viking artifacts in both university and museum settings. The examples demonstrated the power of collaboration between individuals (community photographers, academics, librarians) and large-scale non-profits (museums, universities, and cultural heritage organizations). This collaboration made artifacts accessible to a community remote from Scandinavia and the British Isles. Bennett described the technologies, while Mell walked the audience through their digital re-creations of sites and artifacts that she used with students.