The WLCC is developing a Digital Preservation Program which leverages the facility’s expertise in 3D visualization and works within three broad-based themes: Education, Research and Preservation.
The WLCC is developing undergraduate and graduate courses through Clemson University to train the world’s next generation of leading cultural heritage and historic preservation specialists. The program is also working with the Lowcountry STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Centers to develop programs to introduce K-12 teachers and students to 3D scanning and digital documentation.
The WLCC’s digital research program works at the local and international level. In 2015, the Lowcountry Digital Documentation Initiative was created to systematically document and research the historic environment of the Carolina Lowcountry. Beyond the Lowcountry, the WLCC is beginning research and education projects in St. George’s Bermuda, a UNESCO world heritage site, in Falmouth on Jamaica’s North Coast, and a new documentation and architectural materials research initiative in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, Cuba.
WLCC is working with professionals in the cultural heritage field (architects, site managers, engineers, conservators, etc.) to develop protocols that allow for cross-disciplinary use of the digital data. As 3D scanning is significantly faster than hand-measuring sites, documentation teams will have the time and manpower to create an inventory of the components of the structure including the building fabric, framing, and finishes. This data can then be used to create preservation maintenance and monitoring plans for historic structures.
WLCC staff offer elective courses through the Clemson University/College of Charleston Joint Program in Historic Preservation (MSHP). Currently these courses work within the Digital Preservation component of the WLCC and are offered as a part of the MSHP Special Topics (Elective Courses) including ‘Digital Documentation in Historic Preservation’ and ‘Preservation Field Studies: St. George’s Bermuda’. These courses will be expanded in the next year to create a Certificate in Digital Preservation offered through the MSHP Program coordinated by Brent Fortenberry. The outline of these courses enclosed.