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Folk Heritage Trust

Core Projects

Innovative Technical Solutions

What are the "key enablers" that will enhance the ability
of others to develop radically improved curriculum materials, or
help owners of historical properties and collections to best
preserve them for the future?

Overview of the Challenge, Coalition, Field Survey, Storehouse, and Studio




Translating a vision into reality is no simple feat. Similarly, need often far outstrips resources that can be applied. Still, all one can do is take on the challenge closest at hand, make progress, and try to extend to the next pressing task. In the wide spectrum of potential objects that a charitable trust could focus on, the following are the main endeavors that the Folk Heritage Trust has identified as its major projects.




Major commercial enterprises are endeavoring to copy all the published text and image all of the paintings in museums and galleries. Soon every significant work will be licensed, or restricted and removed from access. Copyright laws are repeatedly modified to keep extending the period of protection afforded to the originator or current owner. The cumulative effect is that almost any significant work requires the permission of the rights holder before it can be reproduced. How is a curriculum developer supposed to be able to deal with the overwhelmingly consuming effort of securing the limited rights to publish relevant extracts/images in a text book? Often, the decision is made to skip what would have been useful illustrations that would have improved the user's understanding, which is a loss of effectiveness for the curriculum.

FHT proposes to go to the owners of unique historical cultural works, which have not yet been imaged before (either at all, or to the degree that FHT is proposing). Thus, there will be no conflicting copyright or licensing agreements. Beyond the technical and intellectual property issues, the truly revolutionary aspect should be the sheer revelatory beauty of the images. Even an less initiated viewer should be struck by the fresh, expository nature. Hopefully, that will inspire others to become cultural leaders in fields like architecture, design, art, museum curation, preservation, or other traditional heritage area of interest to them.




The field survey system will provide high fidelity images of the external, exposed surfaces of historical objects and structures. In its more advanced form, it will include the ability to medical grade scans into the hidden solid structures below the surface, as well. After processing of the data with sophisticated algorithms available from commercial, government, and academic laboratories, a three-dimensional model can be made of the object. Concurrently, the elements and compounds of the object will be discerned. In toto, this will provide the equivalent of an in-depth diagnosis and record of the health of the subject. Repeating the survey at regular intervals, and then comparing data sets, will show how the object is fairing under the ravages of time.




Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it needs to be managed. This includes making it searchable, adaptable for different formats, compatible with various mediums, and distributable to the appropriate users. Due to the high quality, unique original "raw" formats, and specialized algorithms required to manipulate it, the data will not be made available for direct download by other parties. Licensing and other aspects need to be covered as well. Once the data is prepared for distribution, it can be used for many purposes besides for textbooks or catalogs for museums—such as data for historically accurate animated movies, reference materials for planning historically sensitive communities, or study materials for fine arts works yet to be produced.




After the Field Surveys are done of Public and Partner Owned Sites and Collections, the data managed in the Storehouse data storage center, then the data needs to be put to use. The Folk Heritage Trust will produce some demonstration materials itself. This will require a Multi-Media Authoring Studio, along with constituent videography, photography, graphics, fine arts, animation, modeling, storyboarding, script, or other arts and media production resources. At FHT's discretion, some collaborators and partners may be given access to the same resources so they can produce works of mutual interest.


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