To Have and Vehold: Marrying Museum Objects and Virtual Collections via AR

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


The project is aiming for enhanced, innovative museum exhibitions, enabled by collaborative use of Augmented Reality. Complementing physical with relevant 3D virtual objects widens impact of interrelated collections. Objects brought together, from display or storage, provide blended environments for visitors and researchers. Veholder (Virtual Beholder, or Virtual Environment for Holdings and Online Digital Educational Repositories) is developing collaborations between suitable institutions. Early tests at the University of Cambridge are promising, while challenges such as calibration and scaling stress the need for shared solutions to blend collections. Following initial discussions with developers of IIIF, the International Image Interoperability Framework, about standards for digital library sharing of historical manuscripts and other disparate 2D images, we hope that working together can accelerate the process for a standardised approach to sharing 3D images. This could extend the concept of universal digital library viewers to incorporate and integrate 3D and AR images as well.


Museums Virtual collections Blended collections 360 viewing 3D scanning Calibration and real-world scaling 



The author wishes to thank Timothy Jung and all the Creative AR and VR Hub team. Special thanks for the ongoing support and collaboration go to the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge, in particular Robert Foley, Marta Mirazon Lahr, Fabio Lahr, Federica Crivellaro, Frances Rivera, and Alex Wilshaw. Thanks as well go to many other supportive colleagues, including Christopher Wingfield (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge), Christopher Lawrence and the team at University of Technology Sydney, and Sean Martin from the IIIF development team. Additional thanks go to collaborating partners from Statens Naturhistoriske Museum (SNM), University of Copenhagen, in particular Peter Kjærgaard, Anders Drud Jordan, and Nikolaj Scharff. Special mention goes to project collaborator Richard Mee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information ServicesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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