Together, we can activate knowledge of the past to better understand and address the challenges of the present and future.

Living Digital Heritage

The aim of Living Digital Heritage is to provide a platform for the continued advancement of the use of virtual and digital technologies in the preservation of cultural heritage. Engagement with the community of academics, practitioners, developers, students and researchers in this pursuit is a primary concern. This engagement with community aims to: 

  1. Provide an enduring platform for a Community of Practice who deploy digital and virtual  techniques in their work with heritage; 
  2. Organise conferences and events to enable ongoing engagement and exchange of knowledge between community participants; 
  3. Provide a regional focus for those engaged in virtual and digital practices in heritage; 
  4. Provide opportunities for collaboration and the creation of combined research initiatives in digital and virtual heritage; 
  5. Encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration such that the latest in technologies and industry best practice are shared for the benefit of heritage and its practitioners and researchers; 
  6. Enable new and improved methods for engagement with the past through virtual and digital methods whilst raising awareness of the rights of Traditional Owners to their past. 

The themes of interest to LDH include but are not limited to: 

Archival and Data Management Issues   

Digital cultural heritage practises are advancing at a rapid rate worldwide. Archaeological and heritage projects are increasingly traversing the globe recording information with exponential rates of increase in data to be managed. The problem of digital data’s longevity is ongoing, and the risk of precious and costly data sets being lost on failed or obsolescent technology or catastrophic events remains also. This theme covers questions such as: What transformations are required to overcome such challenges and what institutional futures can we envisage? What heritage is created in the form of new data and what are its properties? What are the ethical issues raised? How can we achieve sustainable archiving and what do we archive?  


This theme covers questions such as: What are the changes to Museology in the in the Digital Age? In-person, hybrid and fully virtual experiences – how are they optimised? How do we focus on the audience experience? What is best experienced live and/or virtually? What are the latest approaches, technologies and challenges to museology?  

Capture and Visualisation 

This theme covers the methods and technologies for the recording and reconstruction of artefacts, monuments and landscapes. Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Photogrammetry, LiDAR and other techniques. It explores the latest approaches and challenges in this growing field. 

Legacy Data 

The past one hundred to two hundred years has seen an exponential increase in the destruction of extant heritage. Yet, with the advent of the scientific age, we also see the start of the collection of scientific archives, some of these covering in various ways the destroyed and disappeared heritage. This theme covers questions such as: How do we usefully employ this legacy data – the records of previous researchers or other neglected archives into our modern digital records? Can we integrate the photos, sketches and other records into our digital data set in order to reconstruct destroyed or disturbed heritage? 

Augmented, Virtual and Other Reality 

In the area of Cultural Heritage, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Virtuality (AV), and Mixed Reality (MxR) have become popular immersive technologies for a greater depth of participant engagement. This theme covers questions such as: How do these technologies enrich our experience of museums and heritage sites? How can we create a personalised visiting experience and digital content tailored to the historical and cultural context of the museums and heritage sites? How do we deploy interaction methods, such as sensor-based, device-based, tangible, collaborative, multimodal, and hybrid methods? It also covers the latest rendering technologies and use of 3D Models as scholarly resources for analysis and research. 

Ancient Virtual Worlds, Archaeo-gaming and Role Play 

Digital games recreate for us virtual worlds, including worlds of the past and have the capacity for historical immersion while also becoming artefacts of and by themselves. This theme covers questions such as: How can archaeological and heritage data translate to gaming? What is the contribution of games to teaching and research? How can we explore Immersion and empathy? What are the issues in fidelity and historical accuracy? What are the ethical issues with games usage? 

Centre for Ancient Cultural Heritage and Environment

Living Digital Heritage is a focal theme within the Macquarie University Centre for Ancient Cultural Heritage and Environment (CACHE). It provides a focal point and theme for CACHE to express its interdisciplinary charter through the collaboration of technology and heritage. CACHE is a centre for collaborative research into the cultural heritage and environmental knowledge of past peoples, including Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It brings transdisciplinary researchers into conversation with each other to answer the critical question: what can we learn from the past? By bridging disciplinary gaps, it aims to provide new and more holistic insights into preceding cultural and environmental conditions and to articulate their relevance for today’s world. 

CACHE members come from across Macquarie University, with a concentration of expertise in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science and Engineering including environmental scientists, archaeologists, biologists, social scientists, and historians. The interdisciplinary mission of CACHE makes it a perfect host for Living Digital Heritage, which also transcends the arts and technology.