Norway: exploring new paths for ancient books


The Mubil project was established in June 2011 as an interdisciplinary cooperation between the NTNU University Library the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and Percro laboratory of the University of Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy.

The Gunnerus library is the oldest scientific library in Norway, and dates back to 1768 when it was the library of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. The library focuses especially on the academic fields of archaeology, botany and zoology, but is also a general scientific library, and is open to all public.

The collection of ancient books and documents of the Gunnerus Library was already digitized and is currently available, therefore the idea is to go further the digitization, investigating the possibilities of creating a virtual learning space within the physical space of the library, allowing the visitors to interact with archive documents, without touching the authentic fragile physical objects.

The project consists of 2 phases: phase one, developing a Digital Storytelling application to guide the user within a selection of ancient pictures picked from the books. The pictures will be investigated thanks to 3D live and interactive animations which will tell the story the pictures reproduce.

Phase two, setting a working laboratory in the Library, to create a hybrid environment (physical and immersive) where  the visitor is allowed to experiment with a 3D digital copy through an augmented board in an immersive virtual environment.

The experiment has a clear educational objective: to test the learning outcome of the users. In facts, with 3D reconstructions the user remains a passive viewer, while the project aims to create an active participation and therefore to stimulate knowledge seeking through a perception-action procedure.

The laboratory will have 3 levels: the first level will allow exploration thanks to multimedia movies of objects and tools belonging to the university Museum, the second level will allow deeper interaction, and the third level will be an active phase where the user can share his personal learning experience to enhance the collective knowledge.

The application will also be accessible through the Internet.

Gunnerus Library blog:

NTNU website:

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di studi universitari e perfezionamento, related article (Italian language)


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