USC Working Group on Scholarly VR, AR, and 3D Modeling

Introducing the USC Working Group on Scholarly VR, AR, and 3D Modeling, sponsored by the Humanities in a Digital World Program (USC Dornsife) and the Ahmanson Lab at the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.

This working group presents a year-long works-in-progress series focused on innovative scholarship using virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D modeling, and other visualization/virtualization technologies. This series asks: How can these emerging technologies elevate and enliven scholarship? How can these technologies open us to new possibilities and perspectives? How can they help us engage audiences within and beyond the academy?

  • booksnake on an ipad


    October 1, 2021 | 1:30pm | Zoom

    Join us for a discussion of Booksnake, a scholarly app for iPhone and iPad that lets one view digitized archival materials in augmented reality—as if they were physically present in your real-world surroundings. Booksnake is a digital humanities experiment in how spatial computing can enrich archival research. The Booksnake app is currently in beta testing at the University of Southern California.
  • virtual library screenshot

    Remastering the Renaissance

    October 21, 2021 | 1:00pm | Zoom

    Remastering the Renaissance: A Virtual Experience of Pope Julius II's Library in Raphael's Stanza della Segnatura seeks to construct an immersive digital environment of the Stanza della Segnatura and its original contents, using Scalar as a back-end authoring platform to annotate and tag connections between the library’s books, images, and themes, and using Unity 3D to visualize them. This virtual reality environment will enable contemporary audiences everywhere to "visit" this canonical space, open window shutters, move furnishings, and select books from recreated shelves.
  • Chinatown AR App

    Chinatown AR

    November 11, 2021 | 1:30pm | Zoom

    The goal of this project is to use Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to embed historic photographic images of LA's first Chinatown into the locations where they were originally taken and that is now occupied by Union Station. Using AR toolkits and platforms from Niantic (Pokémon Go), Snap (Snapchat lenses) and others, historic images from the Huntington USC Institute on California and the West will be viewed on a visitor's mobile device screen and appear superimposed onto the actual site of the original buildings.

Can't make any of these? Join our Working Group email list and stay in the loop about our Spring 2022 schedule.

Contact Sean Fraga ( or Curtis Fletcher ( with any questions about this Working Group.