Digital preservation of cultural and scientific heritage: involving university students to raise awareness of its importance

Paula Redweik, Ana Paula Cláudio, Maria Beatriz Carmo, José Manuel Naranjo, José Juan Sanjosé


Cultural heritage is a relevant issue in contemporary society. While its preservation is a challenge, its dissemination, can contribute for an economic balance between costs and benefits.  Scientific  heritage  can  be  considered  as  a  special domain  of  cultural  heritage, not yet sought  by  the  mass  tourism, but worth being preserved as the roots of today’s knowledge.  Considering  that  university  students  of  engineering  and computer  science traditionally  do  not  address cultural or scientific heritage issues in their syllabus, and that they constitute a layer of young citizens that will come to be influential  in  the  future  of  society,  an  effort  was  undertaken  to  focus  on  this  theme  in  disciplines  of  different  courses, allying  the  learning  of  technical  skills  with  the  natural  interest  of  younger  people  for  3D  and  animation  for  the  profit  of heritage. The goal was to raise the awareness of this particular group to the importance of maintaining heritage issues, in particular,  in  a  virtual  way,  both  for  documentation  and  for  divulgating  their  existence.  Raising  funds  for  buildings’ restoration, attracting the public to visit buildings and collections that are outside the usual tourism routes, contributing to revenue  generation,  or  allowing  virtual  visits  of  not  accessible  issues,  complementing  physical  visits  on  site,  were  the general  aims of  the  proposed  projects.  A survey was undertaken under the participating students to evaluate how the projects influenced their attitude towards heritage. The obtained feedback was very positive: 76% agreed that the project alerted them for the importance of preserving historical and cultural heritage, while 72% considered it was interesting that the topic of digital cultural heritage was used for the assessments of the disciplines.


Education; Heritage dissemination; 3D modelling; Animation

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