Offices & Services

Archives & Special Collections

Augmented Archives



Augmented Archives brings objects to life!

Thanks to a grant from SANDBOX, Augmented Archives has established an exciting project to preserve rare materials from our collections! 

The Augmented Archives project has created access to rarely seen materials leveraging the emerging technology of Augmented Reality. The Augmented Archives project began in August 2015, with a unique collaboration of work between the archives, instructional technology and students. By using Augmented Reality, students are able to bring objects to life.

Project To Date:

 
Summer/Fall 2015 - Research & Development 
- Assessed different AR platforms, taught student Archives Assistants how to utilize the technology and solve challenges
Spring 2016 - SANDBOX grant
- wrote grant to collaborate to explore AR in special collections - awarded SANDBOX grant
Spring 2016 - Exhibit Prototyping
- created prototypes of AR exhibits with student Archives Assistants Summer 2016 - Washington’s Secret History 1.0
- incoming freshmen co-curated an AR-enhanced exhibit
- first Augmented Archives student-curated exhibit
Fall 2016 - Voices From the Grave 1.0
- students curate personal exhibits in the First Year Seminar course, Voices From the Grave
Fall 2016 - Archives Fair at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- shared project with representatives from multiple archives and special collections institutions
Spring 2017 – Presentation at ACRL conference
- presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference
Summer 2017 - Talking Portraits of Washington College
- incoming freshmen participate in an AR scavenger hunt, scanning paintings and portraits hanging throughout campus which “come to life” and share their connections to the college
Summer 2017 – Washington’s Secret History 2.0
- incoming freshmen co-curated an AR-enhanced exhibit
Summer/Fall 2017 - Augmented Archives SANDBOX Exhibit
- the results of student work from previous projects and our own work became part of the culminating exhibit for our SANDBOX grant. The exhibit was held in the campus art gallery.
- presented curator’s lecture attended by faculty, administrator and community stakeholders at exhibit opening
Fall 2017 - Voices From the Grave 2.0
- students curate personal exhibits in the First Year Seminar course, Voices From the Grave
Fall 2017 - Archives Fair at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- shared project with representatives from multiple archives and special collections institutions, hosted break-out session about the project
Spring 2018 - Instructional Sessions
- slated to present Augmented Archives as a case-study for the study of history in other faculty members’ courses
Summer 2018 – Book Chapter 
- We have a chapter in the forthcoming book Augmented and Virtual Reality in Libraries slated for publication in June
Summer 2018 - ILiADS 
Our team was accepted to the ILiADS summer institute program at Occidental College in California - Check out their website! 
Late Summer 2018 - Sleuths on the Shore
New orientation offering for first year students including exhibit curation, social media and rare artifacts

What is Augmented Archives?

The Augmented Archives Project is an initiative designed to leverage emerging technologies to increase access to and engagement with primary source materials in Washington College’s Archives & Special Collections. The project was originally made possible by a SANDBOX grant.

Fueled by student research, the Augmented Archives Project presents an opportunity for students to curate exhibits of historic artifacts and significant objects. These exhibits come to life using augmented reality technology to make rare documents, fragile artifacts and curator commentary videos accessible to exhibit visitors. 

The Augmented Archives Project is a collaboration between the Washington College Archives and Washington College’s Academic Technology Department—marrying the primary source materials in our Special Collections with the technological and instructional resources in Academic Technology.

We are now moving our project into a new phase. This next phase will have two components: developing new prototypes that explore AR authoring beyond end-user applications and constructing a resource website to share best practices for incorporating AR into primary source instruction. We are actively exploring ways to solve the sustainability problems institutions face in using end-user platforms to create AR content. Stay tuned as we update our progress.