A Launchpad tech start-up is working with the county’s museums to digitalise historic artefacts and clothing.

Purpose 3D, co-founded by Amy Hardman, Adam Tindall and Natalia Tegos, specialises in the visualisation of vintage and historical clothing. The team are working with the Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP) to deliver a new 3D costume digitisation project, which has received a £50k Art Fund grant.

The Beyond Digitisation project will produce 3D models of costume collections at three museums – Royal Cornwall Museum, Penlee House Gallery & Museum and Bodmin Keep – to be made available to commercial markets such as the gaming and fashion industries.

Artefacts from Bodmin Keep

Adam Tindall, Co-founder of Purpose 3D, said: “We feel very privileged to have such forward thinking institutions such as CMP and the three museums we are partnering with on our doorstep and their willingness to embark on a project embracing digital technology.

“Bringing history to life in 3D is really rewarding and we have been blown away by the depth of collection and history displayed by the museums of Cornwall. Hopefully the work we are doing will help to bring their collections to life, appeal to new and existing visitors and spread the word of the amazing collections and stories that lie in these amazing museums.”

Katie Herbert, curator at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, added: “We were thrilled to take part in this project as we have a wonderful collection of Crysede hand block printed silk and linen garments from the 1920s/30s.

“We don’t have much display space for costume within the museum so being able to have 3D photography of the garments means that we can offer far greater public access to the collection. The collection is extremely popular with fashion and textile students and being able to exhibit them online will provide an invaluable research tool.”

Penlee House Gallery & Museum

This breakthrough project will support the museums to transform their approach to digital collections engagement and inspire new methods of interpretation. 3D scans offer more dynamic digital resources than 2D photographs, enhancing the visitor experience by allowing users to zoom, rotate and interact with collections in an engaging way not currently possible.