Data Life Cycle of an Archive Object

Tove ├śrsted, Aalto Archives & Jason Selvarajan, PhotoRobot

Teaching materials revival

Aalto University Archives holds thousands of visual items used in education during the last century. Most of them are photos and slides used in lectures, but also tools, drawings and ceramics.  

These items have been forgotten for decades but through digitalization they have been given a new chance to be part of learning. About one thousand ceramic items have been transformed to digital spins and 3D formats to make them known and usable in new ways by students and teachers of today.

From the boxes in an archive cellar, and information gathered on paper to multiple platforms and machine searchable data, the archives have taken a huge step towards openness and reuse.

Creative reuse of data

How can I use it? And do I have the permission to recreate? One of the most important parts of an archivist's work is to make the archive reusable. By digitizing and licensing the works we enable reuse, and by always giving the work the most open license as possible we invite students, teachers and anyone to use their imagination to recreate Aalto legacy.

Erasing the line between physical and digital

By digitizing archive materials we open up new possibilities for spreading information, examining an object and reusing it in new ways. The digital version also invites the curious to seek up the original physical item that might otherwise never have been found. 

We invite students and teachers to explore what 3D scanning can do for them. Are you interested in turning your project into 3D? For more information go to

Image credit above: 3D Reconstruction in Reality Capture software based on the photo series in Aalto Archive / PhotoRobot. Credit goes to researchers at the Civil Engineering Department in Aalto University.

1984:7 "What am I doing and why"; Bananaboy

3D model collection by Aalto Archive (external link)

View 3D models by Aalto Archive (@aaltoarchive)