23 Sep 2019

Emerging Technology Brings Parramatta’s History Into The Future

City of Parramatta Council is creating a 3D digital record of significant heritage items as part of a new Smart City program.

Using cutting-edge technology, Council is digitising fragile and rare artefacts to make unique historical pieces and their stories more accessible to the public and preserve the City’s history for future generations.

“Recording our treasured historical artefacts in this way will help us to share the story of Parramatta – and consequently Sydney and Australia – with a broader audience and give people around the globe access to fragile items,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said.

The project aims to build Parramatta’s digital capabilities using innovative methods and technology, and presents an opportunity for Council to work with other heritage partners across the City to experiment with 3D scanning technology and promote Parramatta’s rich history.

“We hope that this technology becomes a useful tool for understanding and documenting the past, engages more people in the story of our City, and becomes part of getting a whole new generation of people excited about heritage.”

Councillor Steven Issa, Chair of the Smart City Advisory Committee, and Councillor Sameer Pandey, a Smart City Advisory Committee member, said they were excited to see the project take shape.

“There are many potential future applications of technology in heritage conservation, customer service and digitisation. This is a great first step in Parramatta using technology to better engage our community with the history of the City,” Cr Pandey said.

Among the items scanned in the initial program are Mayoral regalia, a medal from the Juvenile Industrial Exhibition held in Parramatta Park in 1883, a cedar commode chest circa 1880 from Old Government House, a hand-powered vacuum cleaner from the Newington Armory, and a military ration tin from the New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum. Each of these items were selected because of their historical connection to the area and storytelling opportunity online. 

City of Parramatta Council is working on this pilot project in partnership with other owners of local heritage items, including New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum, Old Government House, Newington Armory and Sydney Olympic Park Authority, to further promote heritage and better engage people with the history of the area. 

If the scans prove popular, more items may be added to the collection over time.

The project is a collaboration between the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre and Council’s Future City program.

View the items in 3D and a ‘behind the scenes’ video of the 3D scanning process on the City of Parramatta Heritage Centre website.