3D Virtual Tour of the Collection of Historical Titles at the Central Library of Engineering

Executive summary


In recent years, libraries are increasing their range of digital products, in particular through the lending of e-books publications and the digitization of printed material. At the same time, the latest research activities conducted on the virtual tours context show how libraries and cultural institutions have started to promote their collections with virtual tours systems based on two-dimensional spaces. Three-dimensional applications to make the experience of users more engaging and interactive are instead not as widespread.


The objective of this project is to create an online application to allow students to access the shelves of the Central Engineering Library of the Politecnico by means of tours in virtual environments. On the one hand, it is necessary to create a virtual view of the shelves with new acquisitions of the Library of Engineering, that contain approximately 25.000 titles. On the other hand, students should be able to explore a virtual reconstruction of the prestigious Hall of the Ancients (“Sala degli Antichi”) that contains about 1,600 books, the oldest and most prestigious volumes held by the Central Library. Given the particular contents of the room, the values ​​of temperature and humidity are kept constant, and you can access it only with prior authorization, under the supervision of a librarian and for a limited time.


Two prototypes of virtual tours have been developed in order to reach the dual objective of exploring the shelves of new acquisitions and the Hall of the Ancients of Central Library of Engineering of the Politecnico di Torino.