ACRL Tour of Virtual Museums of Archaeology
On July 16, 2017, ALA’s ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) Virtual World Interest Group hosted a Virtual Museums of Archaeology Tour by SeverusAlexander, the owner of the Archaeology Museums and Ancient History project in Second Life.
On a wall in Museums of Archaeology’s Orbis Romanus simulation, SeverusAlexander is pictured left in real life, dressed for a historical re-enactment.
SeverusAlexander describes the project as “a cultural and education region [where]….experts and passionate amateurs will give visitors an insight into the world of Arch[a]eology and Ancient History….Guided tours, lectures on archaeological topics and special exhibitions are offered to the interested visitor” (SeverusAlexander. SL Profile).
The tour began at the Community Virtual Library Meeting Space (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bradley%20University/26/140/24) where SeverusAlexander introduced himself and the Virtual Museums of Archaeology project. The group then moved to the Museums of Archaeology space on Buttercup Isle (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/128/113/3002). The main Museums of Archaeology space acts as an info hub, conference hall, museum shop, and library. It also offers ancient maps and spaces for relaxation.
Museums of Archeology landing point
Hall leading to the Museum Shop, Auditorium Coarelli, and Library of Ancient Greek and Roman Literature
The library hosts pottery diagrams and links to online Roman archaeology resources.
As an info hub, the Museums of Archeology space hosts a directory board that allows users to teleport with a click to five locations. The tour group used the board to travel to Orbis Romanus (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/4/153/987) and the Vatican Library (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/41/112/2002).
The bulk of the tour showcased Orbis Romanus, a simulated Roman urban environment filled with ancient monuments and historical exhibits, many with accompanying notecards detailing the objects’ significance. The following images represent a small portion of the sites to behold on Orbis Romanus!
Orbis Romanus entrance
Orbis Romanus map
Roman city street
Roman food and dining exhibit
Archaeological excavation site
The Meta Sudans, a fountain in Rome
Ara Pacis Augustae, a Roman altar dedicated to the goddess of Peace
Historically accurate reconstruction of a Roman castle
Map of the Limes Germanicus (the Germanic Frontier)
Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus), the first Roman emperor
Near the Res Gestae Divi Augusti is a deceivingly plain building with a blue door. Inside this building is a maze with a free prize in the center! To find the prize, adventurers must navigate by answering historical trivia questions with possible answers that correspond to doors in each room. Clicking the correct door moves users closer to the finish while wrong answers send users back to the beginning. Do you have what it takes to find the center?
The Tour concluded at the Vatican Library, a replica of a hall within the Vatican Library in Italy that boasts rare manuscripts and other religious relics. One such artifact is the Chigi Codex.
While this replica does not allow for turned pages, it does offer a notecard explaining the codex is an elaborate illuminated music manuscript.
Vatican Library landing point
Vatican Library entrance
Inside Vatican Library entrance
Illuminated Sermon on the Mount (This replica allows users to turn pages)
The ACRL tour covered the Orbis Romanus and the Vatican Library, but Museums of Archaeology also links to:
- Museum Island (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/116/213/23), which specializes in historical monuments
- The Ortem Project (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/146/121/2008), a museum of Roman inventions and developments
- The Van Gogh Experience (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/202/25/31), a three-dimensional recreation of a Van Gogh painting
- The Minoan Museum (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttercup%20Isle/111/71/2001), which presents posters and reproductions of ancient Minoan culture
All locations are open to the public and accessible through Second Life.
iSchool student Alyse Dunavant-Jones relaxes inside of Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles
For information about joining VCARA in Second Life, please refer to our VCARA for Newbies blog post. To request an orientation to Second Life and/or VCARA, please email Alyse Dunavant-Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org). To follow VCARA on social media, check out our VCARA on Social Media page.
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