Virtual learning environment: the Virca-based Model of the Ancient Library of Alexandria

Digital contentdigitalizationdigital librariesdigital content


Our research objective is to invent, implement and gradually improve a three-dimensional virtual library model. We selected some prominent authors who represented the ancient Greek poetry and drama from the 3rd century BC. Their short biography and certain fragments from their works formed the selected content of the first version of the virtual library model. We have designed a four-level hierarchical and scale-free structure based on the original classification scheme of the ancient Library of Alexandria devised by Callimachus, the famous librarian and poet. We are adding selected items of verbal and/or multimedia content of different text types (e.g. commentaries, translations, adaptations, concordance and collocation tables, illustrative images, dictionary entries, summaries and so on) to improve the content of the database. These additional materials are intended to represent the background information necessary for the users to read, interpret and understand (possibly at once) the old Greek literary texts in the virtual space. We analyse how the collected items can be effectively used in language learning to improve the learners’ linguistic competence, and, in general, how the spatial hypertext concept could promote the multidisciplinary use of the model in education. The virtual library model is built on PHP/MySQL technology and fully utilises the three-dimensional navigation and presentation features of the VirCA (Virtual Collaboration Arena) system.