New humanities centre opens


February 14th, 2012

Humanities at the University has joined the digital age, with the launch of a new centre that will transform the way the subject is taught, studied and researched at Nottingham.
The Digital Humanities Centre (DHC), based in the new £8m Humanities building on University Park, features an impressive array of state-of-the-art technology for the creation, manipulation and presentation of digital imagery.
Among the potential uses of the new visualisation resources will be the creation of detailed 3-D reconstructions of ancient monuments and relics, virtual galleries and a multi-screen ‘smart’ classroom for the teaching of humanities subjects.
However, the new kit will also be a multidisciplinary resource — seven of its workstations, all complete with Humanities-themed names, are bookable through the university’s central booking system accessed through Outlook and available to staff and students across the university.
Among the bookable technologies are Daidalos and Leonardo – high performance PCs with A3 scanners, graphics tablets and various software including PhotoshopCS5 and AutoCAD 2011; Frida (as in Kahlo) — a PC with 50” plasma screen, A4 scanner, Nikon Coolscan 35mm slide scanner and various software; and Annie (named after photographer Leibovitz) — a camera copy-stand with lighting units for digitising large pictures, maps etc
The centre also features a hi-tech 3-D scanner, which can be used to capture and digitally render animate and inanimate objects — anything from ancient Roman statues to the human hand.
The DHC is the new home to Art History’s 80,000 strong 35mm slide collection featuring fine art, architecture (ancient and modern), sculpture/installation, manuscripts and applied art, with plans to digitally archive the most useful and precious of these images.
Dr Matt Davies, Head of Visual Resources, is available during opening hours at the centre (9am to 4pm during term-time only) to provide access, help and support, and advise on the use of digital images and copyright issues.
He said: “This is a fantastic facility featuring resources which in many cases simply aren’t available in other departments of the university. The equipment here which is centrally bookable could be extremely useful to staff and students whatever discipline they are working in and we are really keen to let people know that the doors of the DHC are open to them.”
The centre also offers a range of equipment including laptops, digital projectors, HD flip cameras, Dictaphones, 35mm slide viewing and projecting equipment, video and DVD recording and playback equipment which can be used at the centre or booked out on request.
Information is available from: www.nottingham.ac.uk/humanities/digital or by emailing: digitalhumanities@nottingham.ac.uk.
Alternatively, follow the centre on Facebook or Twitter (@NottinghamDigi).

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