PURE3D: An Infrastructure for the Publication and Preservation of 3D Scholarship


Project duration: 2021 - 2024 Date coverage: -3000 - 2022 Website Contact

3D / 4D modelling and reconstruction Digital Cultural Heritage Archaeological or architectural heritage Digital Infrastructure Digital Humanities Digitization of collections Education / pedagogy Platform for data aggregation or retrieval

PURE3D is a project funded by the PDI-SSH (Platform Digitale Infrastructuur–Social Sciences and Humanities) that intends to become a new paradigm in the field of 3D scholarship by developing a national infrastructure that will place emphasis on both the presentation and the preservation of 3D heritage, thus stimulating 3D-based research and educating a new generation of researchers and professionals in 3D scholarship.

It will do this by establishing a framework in which 3D cultural heritage objects (including artefacts, buildings, landscapes etc.) will be published and preserved in the form of 3D Scholarly Editions (3DSEs). In 3DSEs the 3D models are becoming part of the scholarly record, unlike common practice in which 3D scholarship exists in a bifurcated information space: the knowledge generated from the models is published in articles, while the models rarely become available to the scholarly community and/or a more general audience in a meaningful, informed, and contextualized manner. To achieve this, the 3D models essentially become the text of conventional publication paradigms. This is done by means of contextualisation with multiple types of source materials (e.g., annotations, images, video, structured/unstructured data) and the documentation of metadata and paradata (documentation of the creation process), providing users with access to modelling and interpretative choices as well as scholarly arguments; thus, creating a multimodal resource impossible to replicate in print form. At the same time, emphasis is placed on the preservation not only of the 3D models, but of all the information associated with those (e.g., annotations) following the FAIR principles.

Based on the above, the three key results of the project are:

1) the development of an access infrastructure for viewing interactive 3D models (from single objects to virtual worlds) within the context of a scholarly publication format (3D Scholarly Editions);

2) a preservation repository for the 3D models and the files associated with the 3DSEs;

3) a conceptual and methodological framework for valorising, evaluating, and publishing interactive 3D scholarship.

The PURE3D Project is based out of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University under the direction of Dr. Costas Papadopoulos and Prof. Susan Schreibman. A number of partner institutions join PURE3D as pilot projects or in advisory roles and technical support.

Project partners

Other partners

  • 4DResearch Lab, University of Amsterdam
  • Gemeente Maastricht
  • Museum van Bommel van Dam
  • Nederlands Mijnmuseum
  • Erfgoed Leiden een Omstreken

With financial support by