Following our series of portraits “New Practices and Culture, a short look on Culture professionals” with Christophe Courtin, Department Head digital projects at the Nantes History Museum
– History Museum of Nantes opened February 9, 2007 in the castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The property is managed by a private company, the public company’s “Le voyage à Nantes” (a journey to Nantes) but is located in a listed building, owned by the city of Nantes.
– The museum is best known -en outside its building and its Collections- for its investment in accessibility-both physical than intellectual– its collections. To this end, a number of mechanisms of mediation and planning for the use of disabled and visually blend with multimedia elements.
– There are now more than four years, the group led by Christophe Courtin service has launched a project on research and development (R & D) concentrated around the model collection with the port of Nantes in 1900 Combining scientific, media and formal research, Christophe Courtin tells us more about this program:
Comment est né ce projet de maquette augmentée ?
This project was born from a need: to this model, very rich object but not legible enough for the public. Certainly four screens above show the port in 1920, 1949, 2005 and now with short films but this is not enough, you have to let the opportunity to tell more. The project is to increase the model of digital content (stored online).
If this project started there more than four years is because these questions are at the heart of the action since the beginning of the museum but also because we had to give time to think about the services and technical solutions scriptwriting satisfactory. Indeed, the first tracks went first to a camera solution led by joysticks or a device with multi touch but the good scenario was not found… then imagine how the writing of specifications and order I need regular. The chosen solution is to complete the project in-house and through a partnership with the Centre Francois Vieta (centre epistemology, history of science and technology at the University of Nantes), and laboratory of the Institute for Research in communication and Cybernetics of Nantes (IRCCyN, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, for the numeric portion and IT).
En quoi consiste le projet ?
Nantes in 1900 therefore focuses on a physical object, the model, and is enriched with digital content. Nevertheless, some key ideas behind this project and thus explain its composition. Indeed, digital should not be a gimmick or supplant human mediation. There is a strong need to exit from closed applications that do not allow easy modification at any time or to appropriate the tool. Moreover, these applications closed prevent any scalability and prevents its enrichment-unless to have the means – or, an application that lasts only three years is not viable either for financial or work in R & D conducted by teams from the museum. That is why the project combines scientific research, technical research and scenario uses. The solution is then found to differentiate three layers in this project:
– The database that will be accessible on the internet and allowing changes, additions and enhancements at any time and flexibility. It will then find the iconographic and textual documents.
– The touchscreen that is to say the screens that will be made available to public and mediators face in the model. Indeed, this part-which is just a wrapper, a visualization element of the base collects data should not take precedence over the model but must well be a tool for understanding the attention of public and working tool for guides and mediators who will be able to prepare their chronological and / or thematic tours, and contactless RFID, “load” their presentations as support visit these screens.
– The video-projection can illuminate selected on the physical model and thus enable better readability targeted information to be issued area. Again, aim is to link physical world and screen.
What are the different stages of this project?
The first year was mainly used to lay the main principles of the project but also the question of the organization is very complex since it was decided early on to work with students, that is to say, persons trained, learning therefore present only a year at a time. 3D scanning work and historical research on the model and the Nantes area was then conducted for three years with the IRCCyN laboratory, the center F. Vieta and their students. What is interesting from the rest with this approach is that these students from very different sectors (engineers and historians), who did not usually interbreed have learned to know, to understand and to open opportunities; collaboration and cross are at the heart of this project. From a practical point of view, it should be noted that Marquette is 9 meters by 1.80 meters, as saying intransportable; measurements and scanning have been made in situ.
Secondly, the museum hired Dev-o-cité whose mission assembling software components of the scan that was performed by the students.
In order to validate the assumptions of the project and check the scenarios, another model smaller-and more portable – has also been the same treatment as the large model present in the rooms of the castle of the Dukes of Brittany. With this smaller model-also collectors of Christophe Courtin and Benjamin Hervy (PhD student in museum CIFRE) test with different audiences at conferences and exhibitions reactions of those and the various technical problems that trade shows in order to improve the final device.
What were the reactions in internal and territorial decision about the project?
If Christophe Courtin can complete this project in the museum it is also thanks to its structural specificity. Indeed, if the museum is operated by Le Voyage à Nantes, collections are funded by the city of Nantes through the Multiannual Investment Plan (IPP). With this specificity, the proposed R & D could be entered and thus allow its funding over the long term.
This also reflects the degree of independence in their work of museum officials. Indeed, whether or Christophe Courtin science team (especially when creating the Nantes History Museum) face the journey to Nantes or services of the municipality of Nantes, every time, all have had the rather free rein to conduct their work and projects. This specificity has been the rest and have some fairly unique among the museums of France Impact: horizontal and vertical non chart. Thus, all services have the same cross leading to mediation and recovery of collections; dialogue is the work rule and there is often a “mediator referent” for each major project (either by size or time of completion). Obviously, this has been possible thanks to the will of the curatorial team behind the scientific and cultural project of the history museum of Nantes and thus strong-willed decision, but if it surprises Works . Making constraints strengths as much as possible and lead a collaborative effort; Here are the principles of the museum but also what Nantes 1900 project.
What next for Nantes 1900?
The current project still needs to be clarified as to certain technical elements to allow more uniform and easier use. To the extent that the database of the model will be available online, it will leave an opportunity for audiences to also offer content. (from old photographs and postcards type). This type of public participation, the collection is not new for the museum that has followed the same approach for the current exhibition In wars, 1914-1918 / 1939-1945.
Finally, the R & D work carried out for the model of the port of Nantes will also be used later to imagine other uses and applications on collections or on other plans and reliefs, either by using the same database a geolocation application in the museum.
Some links …
– musée d’histoire de Nantes (Château des Ducs de Bretagne) website
– Facebook Museum page
– Twitter Museum account
– Nantes 1900 website
– Explications sur la numérisation de la maquette, Musée d’histoire de Nantes (in French)
– Présentation de la maquette, site du musée d’histoire de Nantes
– The Le Voyage à Nantes company website
– Photos of the château and museum by J-P. Dalbera
– « Nantes 1900, un dispositif de valorisation d’une maquette du port de Nantes réalisée pour l’exposition universelle de 1900. », à l’occasion du salon SIMESITEM (in French)
– « Le château des ducs de Bretagne », LEDEN article (in French), programme of research and creation Leden Laboratory Section of the University Paris 8, which aims to develop and promote the innovations especially in the field of digitization of cultural and scientific heritage.
– « L’innovation numérique au Château de Nantes », Knowtex article (in French), Network explorers creative and innovative communities
– « Au château, le multimédia n’est pas un gadget »,Nantes, Ma ville newspaper article (in French)
– « Mobilisation générale » pour les contenus audioguides du Musée d’Histoire de Nantes », article du CLIC
– « Les actes vidéos des 3e Rencontres Nationales Culture & Innovation(s) », article de l’OCIM
– Petite présentation de la future participation du musée d’histoire de Nantes à Museomix, édition 2013
[translation by Google translate]