Teaching with (digital) objects
Cabinet is an online platform designed to support the use of objects and images in teaching. Its ultimate aim is to make material culture as accessible for learning as traditional text-based sources. Cabinet allows its users to digitally take objects out of their glass vitrines and museum archives, to virtually enter the classroom, lecture hall or student dorm.
It provides an intuitive and flexible interface for uploading and presenting 2D and 3D digitised images from collections in Oxford and elsewhere, which can be made available together with contextual information, notes, annotations and guidance on how to explore the material. In Cabinet, you can zoom, spin, annotate and discuss objects.
A major feature is the ability to explore full-colour 3D models of objects, ranging from minute artefacts a few centimetres across to entire monuments from the Oxford landscape. The combination of objects, tools and written information provides a rich, interactive environment for teaching and learning, increasing the potential for fruitful individual and collective study.
The capacity for students to learn about whole constellations of physical objects is absolutely transformed by this new medium.
- Howard Hotson, Professor of Early Modern Intellectual History
Explore Oxford’s collections in 3D
We are using digital photogrammetry to produce highly detailed full colour 3D models of objects from across Oxford’s museum collections which are used in teaching. These range in size from minute objects to entire monuments from the Oxford landscape.
View, zoom and explore high–resolution images
Documents, maps and images on Cabinet have been digitised where possible directly from the original source. The result is an impressive level of detail with minimal quality lost between the original and online viewing.
Flexibility for course users and creators
Cabinet has been designed to be easy for course creators to create content. Structure your course by any category – Topic, Week, Artistic Movement – anything. And upload anything from one resource to several hundred.
Annotate, comment and discuss
Cabinet supports annotation of points of interest on 2D images and in 3D space. Simply click and add your text to create your annotation. The comment box allows discussion of your annotation with other course members.
Compatible with Mobile Devices
Cabinet has been designed from the outset to work well on mobile devices. Use intuitive touchscreen controls to spin, zoom and annotate sources from anywhere with an internet connection.
Students have access to materials 24/7, for use in class, tutorials and for private study and revision. Access can be controlled via Single Sign-On through Canvas. Cabinet content can be edited and added to year on year, building up a valuable collection of online learning materials. It is also possible for multiple authors to collaborate in assembling materials to support their teaching.
Cabinet is compliant with the IIIF image standard, meaning that its users can easily import online digitised materials from collections across the world without spending time downloading and uploading files. Participating institutions include Digital Bodleian, The British Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cambridge Digital Library and the Wellcome Library.
Cabinet is available as a plugin through Canvas. Once the tool is activated, a link to Cabinet will appear. When used for the first time, a private area is created in Cabinet, accessible only to those with access through the Canvas site.
The video manual guides you through Cabinet and explains key functionalities step by step.https://www.youtube.com/embed/pfzFlwW4YZw
- How to create a Paper
- How to create a Unit
- What do I need to create a Source
- How to create a Source
- Bringing in IIIF-compliant images
- How to make annotations
- How to use annotations
- How to upload a 3D model
- How to create a Source Category
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO MANUAL ON YOUTUBE
The written Cabinet manual explains key terminology and provides you with guidance on how to create your own Cabinet course.
Log in to Cabinet
You can log in to Cabinet through the Virtual Learning Environment using your SSO.
In Canvas, click on 'Settings' then select the 'Navigation' tab and drag the 'Cabinet' entry upwards and drop into your list of active tools and click ‘Save’. This will add a link to Cabinet on the side menu.
Follow Cabinet on Twitter
For general enquiries, please contact the CTL team at