Suggested Readings

We’ve provided a list of suggested readings to help jumpstart our discussions at the colloquium. For the longer readings, we reccomend reading through the table of contents and picking one or two sections that might be of interest to you. Please find an annotated bibliography of the readings below.  We have also compiled a larger (unannotated) bibliography of related texts available in .pdf form.

Alliez, P., Bergerot, L., Bernard, J.-F., Boust, C., Bruseker, G., Carboni, N., … Dutailly, B. (2017). Digital 3D Objects in Art and Humanities: challenges of creation, interoperability and preservation (White Paper) (pp. 1–71). PARTHENOS Project. Retrieved from

In this white paper, the authors present findings from the PARTHENOS Workshop held in Bordeaux at Maison des Sciences de
l’Homme d’Aquitaine and at Archeovision Lab, November 30 – December 2, 2016, which considered the challenges associated with managing the full lifecycle of creating, exchanging, and preserving 3D content in arts and humanities contexts. This white paper discusses findings related to the production and processing of 3D objects; 3D visualization and analysis; 3D metadata standards (including an assessment of ARCO, CARARE 2.0, CRMdig, LIDO, METS, and STARC) and long-term preservation; 3D objects in the context of museology; designing 3D repositories with search and retrieval capabilities in mind; and policy considerations for cultural heritage institutions working with 3D objects. It concludes by noting that standardization of 3D production processes is very difficult due to the large variety of different approaches and the wide range of contexts of 3D content creation. Instead, it suggests that institutions should develop guidelines in consultation with one another and document their own particular approaches to 3D content creation. While the content creation process is difficult to standardize, the authors do stress the importance of developing common metadata standards for 3D content, and they hope that the findings presented in this white paper will encourage further community discussion and progress towards metadata standards for 3D content.

Lischer-Katz, Z., & Cook, M. (2017). Virtual Reality in the Trenches: Addressing the Preservation Challenges of Virtual Reality for Scholarship. Presentation at Coalition for Networked Information Conference, April 3-4, Albuquerque, NM. [Video]

In this 22-minute video presentation from the spring 2017 Coalition for Networked Information Conference held in Albuquerque, NM, the authors discuss what they have learned through their work implementing a 3D/VR program at University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries, offering practical suggestions for other institutions that are considering adopting these types of programs, and identifying unresolved issues that need further study. The presentation reviews the authors’ work conducted at OU Libraries in 2016 that brought publicly-available 3D/VR technology to OU students and faculty. It presents the authors’ “in the trenches” experiences working with a variety of faculty members in fields as diverse as architecture, anthropology, biochemistry, and English, at the same time reflecting on some of the preservation and curation issues that arise when working with 3D/VR research data in these research domains. It concludes with a discussion of current projects undertaken at OU Libraries, including a plan to develop a 3D/VR data repository, a recently submitted IMLS grant application, and ongoing collaborative work to develop a networked VR platform to support multi-user curated 3D/VR events across multiple academic libraries.

Niven, Kieron, and Julian D. Richards. 2017. “The Storage and Long-Term Preservation of 3D Data.” In Human Remains: Another Dimension The Application of Imaging to the Study of Human Remains, eds. David Errickson and Tim Thompson. Academic Press, 175–84.

The authors of this article urge data creators to consider the life of data as data preservation instead of data storage. The key difference is that the data must be maintained and curated for data reuse. In this case, they suggest working with a digital repository that is disciplinary specific, such as the Archaeological Data Services in the UK. The data preserved should ideally include snapshots of the data at each stage of the work where substantial changes which could not be re-created occur, such as the meshing of a point cloud, as well as the original data. Metadata should include fields that answer the questions of who, what, when, where and how. For examples of best practices, the authors point the reader to documents based on photogrammetry, laser scanning, and structured light scanning. Each type of scanning requires a different set of metadata to capture the different workflows. Among the types of information they list as recommended for capturing via metadata are the types of equipment used, settings on the equipment, and environmental variables. They also suggest using an established metadataschema, such as Dublin Core, for project level data in addition to using a more specialized schema to capture the technical modeling data.

Heather Richards-Rissetto and Jennifer von Schwerin. A catch 22 of 3d data sustainability: Lessons in 3d archaeological data management & accessibility. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 2017.
Doerr, M. et al. 2014. “A Framework for Maintaining Provenance Information of Cultural Heritage 3D-models.”
Whitt, Richard S. 2016. “‘Through a Glass, Darkly’: Technical, Policy, and Financial Actions to Avert the Coming Digital Dark Ages.” Santa Clara Computer and High Tech. Law Journal v. 33: 117-229.

Whitt, then the Corporate Director for Strategic Initiatives at Google, offers a wide-ranging survey of the digital preservation challenge. The author divides the issue into technical, public policy, and financial challenges; examines the infrastructural resources available to sustain digital object preservation; and posits concrete next steps to address the challenges in each area.

Whitt’s article – a veritable manifesto for digital preservation – is rich in resources and ideas but sacrifices depth of discussion for an expansive overview of the entire ecosystem of digital preservation in the private, public, and academic sectors. In his discussion of migration vs. emulation, for example, Whitt utilizes two pages to advocate for a nuanced approach with emulation preferred for ‘look and feel’ and migration preferred for archiving information (158-159). Of particular interest, however, is his discussion of the economic impact of digital preservation (especially ongoing costs and business models to sustain them, 182-184) and the scale of infrastructure required to enable long-term digital object preservation (194-202).