Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Virtual York Minster

Last June, the Center for Digital Theology completed a 3DRT interactive model for York Minster Cathedral. It allows users to wander the Lady Chapel and examine all the artifacts in detail. Integrated text guides the user so they can understand what they are seeing, especially when they are viewing the panels of the Great East Window.

I just uploaded a short video on the project at YouTube:

This was the proof of concept for a larger project to model the entire Minster. We started with the Lady Chapel because the Great East Window will be boarded up for the next ten years while the East wall is repaired and reinforced. We were hoping to start up the next phase in 2009, but the current economy has made gathering the funding a bit of a challenge. Hopefully we will be able to move forward in the next year or so.

York Minster plans to put this model on work stations in the Minster, so that visitors can have some access to the Chapel during the restoration.

The Virtual York Minster is our second 3DRT project. The first was the Virtual Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. Here's the YouTube promo for that:

This model is available for purchase on for a mere $26 (+S/H). What a deal!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why Buckden Manor?

Buckden manor (now known as Buckden Towers) was the residence of choice for Robert Grosseteste, when he was bishop of Lincoln (r. 1235-1253). He appears to have spent a lot of time there, where he may have worked on his many translation projects and theological writings while he was bishop. He also spent his last days there. So Buckden manor holds a special place for me as a Grosseteste scholar. Buckden Manor also reminds me that all theological writing has to be located in specific geographic, historical, social and institutional coordinates.

Most of the bishop's palace was destroyed in the sixteenth century, but the building's footprints are still visible and there is still a medieval tower. Today, Buckden Towers is primarily a Catholic retreat center, but also a tourist site. The village of Buckden is located in Cambridgeshire, about 25 miles north west of Cambridge.