Scanning the Past, To Benefit the Future
Will Rourk’s love of history is infectious.
Rourk, a 3D technologies specialist at the University of Virginia Library’s Scholars’ Lab, documents historic architecture and artifacts, large and small, by 3D scanning them with state-of-the-art equipment. His enthusiasm shows in his smile as he talks about his work and his students.
In an artifact-packed warehouse, Rourk recently directed three architecture students enrolled in ARH 5600: 3D Cultural Heritage Informatics. The class is a collaboration between Andy Johnston, the Historic Preservation Program in Architectural History and the UVA Library. The course uses structured light scanners to record the topography of bricks unearthed in an archaeological dig at Monroe Hill House, James Monroe’s farmhouse that pre-existed the University. Mark Kutney, lead conservator for the University with Facilities Management, assisted.