Time travel as a visitor experience: a virtual reality exhibit template for historical exploration

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Developments in digital infrastructures and expanding digital literacies lower barriers for museums and visitor centres to provide new interactive experiences with their collections and heritage. With virtual reality more accessible, heritage institutions are eager to find out how this technology can create new methods in interpretation, learning and visualisation. This paper reviews a virtual reality framework implemented into exhibits in three cultural heritage centres. By taking advantage of existing visitor digital literacies, the exhibits provided accessible immersive exploratory experiences for inter-generational audiences. The digital framework developed is a template for virtual reality content interaction that is both intuitive and powerful. The exhibits include digital reconstructions of physical scenes using game engines for a convincing visual experience. We contextualise the logic behind a virtual reality setup for the separate institutions, how they assisted with the narrative as well as if an immersive digital environment provided a more profound response in users. Our aim is to communicate approaches, methodologies and content used to overcome the challenge of presenting a period in history to a modern audience, while using emergent technology to build connections and disseminate knowledge that is memorable and profound.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImmersive Learning Research Network
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference, iLRN 2019, London, UK, June 23–27, 2019, Proceedings
EditorsDennis Beck, Anasol Peña-Rios, Todd Ogle, Daphne Economou, Markos Mentzelopoulos, Leonel Morgado, Christian Eckhardt, Johanna Pirker, Roxane Koitz-Hristov, Jonathon Richter, Christian Gütl, Michael Gardner
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783030230890
ISBN (Print)9783030230883
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event5th Immersive Learning Research Network Conference (iLRN 2019) - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jun 201927 Jun 2019
Conference number: 5

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference5th Immersive Learning Research Network Conference (iLRN 2019)
Abbreviated titleiLRN 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Virtual reality
  • Cultural heritage
  • Museum exhibits


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