Partners in Historical Preservation - Mid-Pacific Institute

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Partners in Historical Preservation

Hawaiian Mission Houses Museum

Posted on November 9, 2015 by Scot Allen

Mid-Pacific students have partnered with the Hawaiian Mission Houses Museum to study the practice of historical preservation.

The Historical Preservation course is comprised of high school juniors and seniors who drive the curriculum of the course themselves. The theme for the course for the 2015-2016 school year is Hawaiian History, so students have worked in pairs to identify historical artifacts that have significance to the Hawaiian culture. After research, students Troy Owens and Sydnee Ramirez felt that the first printing press to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands was an important artifact to preserve.

The printing press produced the first materials printed in the Hawaiian language. Prior to 1822 the Hawaiian language had not been written, and this printing press was instrumental in promoting literacy throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The students contacted Hawaiian Mission Houses curator Mike Smola to explain the technology, and how they could use it to digitally preserve the printing press for the museum.

Mike Smola felt that the 3D scans could "benefit us by giving us another format we can use to fulfill our mission. Not everyone can come to the Mission Houses or even to Hawai'i, but they may be interested in the history of printing here in the islands. The scans will allow us to create a digital experience of the printing press that visitors can learn from. It also creates a digital copy of the press so that in case anything ever happens to the press itself, we can use the scan to develop a new working model of it."

"Creating virtual experiences for visitors is increasing in museums. Mid-Pacific's work will help us do that here at the Hawaiian Mission Houses," Smola said.

The instructor for the Historical Preservation course, Ms. Heather Calabro, feels that her students' work rivals the best in the industry. "These eleventh and twelfth graders are using professional-grade technology to create professional-level work for our community. The students realize that the work they are creating in class is truly top-notch, and therefore aren't satisfied with keeping it within our classroom. They want to serve the community by partnering with organizations like the Hawaiian Mission Houses Museum, so that their work can make a difference," she said.

The students used a Faro LiDAR (a 3D laser) scanner to capture the printing press and used Autodesk ReCap and PoinTools software to process the files. The Hawaiian Mission Houses Museum will be using the original files to display on their website soon, but readers can interact with a copy through this site by clicking here.

For more information on the Historical Preservation class, please follow them on Instagram and Twitter through @MidPacificScans.