Looking forward to #DCDC2017 : Registration still open!

I’m really excited to be presenting at this year’s ‘Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities‘ (DCDC) conference. This year’s theme looks at the cultural value of collections and the creative economy, covering topics such as:

  • opening up collections through digital technology
  • engaging audiences with real and imagined environments
  • crowd-sourcing and creative spaces
  • heritage and the human experience

I will be speaking within my capacity as Archives Assistant with the East Riding Archives to talk about our Archives in 3D workshops.

Here’s my synopsis for ‘Archives in 3D: A multidisciplinary approach to digital engagement’ :

In celebration of Hull City of Culture 2017, ‘Archives in 3D’ were a series of practical 3D modelling workshops at the East Riding Archives combining digital techniques, interpretation skills, architectural history and the creative reuse of collections. These workshops were an opportunity for participants to recreate Hull and East Riding built heritage whilst learning how to use collections to inspire and inform their own historical reconstructions. This presentation will explore the lessons learned, practicalities and impact of a multidisciplinary approach to digital engagement.

DCDC17 will be held at The Lowry, Salford from 27-29 Nov 2017 and registration will close on October 31st. You can purchase tickets via the DCDC website. #DCDC17

DCDC is managed by Research Libraries UK and The National Archives.

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From Heritage Quay to the Wellcome Collection

I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks attending more conferences representing the fantastic Hull History Centre, this time at Heritage Quay in Huddersfield and the Wellcome Collection in London.

Firstly, on the 16th April I went to Heritage Quay with Simon Wilson, Acting University Archivist, and Claire Weatherall, Project Archivist to speak at the Northern Collaboration Learning Exchange event. The theme of this event was “Developing Archives” and was highly relevant with it being based on university archives (I am seconded to the Hull University Archives at the Hull History Centre).

Simon Wilson Northern Collaboration Talk

Simon carried out a highly interesting talk on the Hull History Centre’s joint partnership model between the University of Hull and the Hull City Council and how this works in practice. It was great to see photos of the development of the History Centre from 2010 (which I had never seen before!) and to see how far the archives had come along. It made me feel very proud to be working there!

Claire Weatherall Presenting at Northern CollaborationMyself and Claire presented on Architectural Archives: New Models of Outreach based on the collections of architect Francis Johnson. Claire began the talk explaining her role as project archivist for the Francis Johnson & Partners collection (U DFJ) and the many strands that she has developed from her cataloguing work- including exploration of the possibility to use a GIS mapping interface with the catalogued works, use of volunteers, and the development and implementation of Lego & Craft days called History Makers.

For the second half of the talk I presented on our HullCraft project which stems from Claire’s work with the Francis Johnson collection. I explained how we are using Johnson’s architectural plans to engage a wider, and younger, audience using the computer game Minecraft as an educational platform.

It was great to hear from the other speakers talk about their archives- the team at Heritage Quay and Alison Cullingford (University of Bradford). Thank you to Heritage Quay for having us! A day at Heritage Quay could not go without mentioning their brilliant interactive displays- it was like a dream come true for me! We experimented with their giant gesture-recognition wall which was linked up to their online catalogue, and also their touchscreen displays (see photos below).

Heritage Quay giant wall         Heritage Quay Touchscreen

Once Northern Collaboration was over, I ventured to London to the Wellcome Collection to present a poster session called HullCraft: Using Digitised Archival Collections for Outreach at the Museum Librarians & Archivists Group (MLAG) conference “The D-Word: Tips & Tricks for Digitising Library & Archive Collections” (24th April 2015).

MLAG Conference 2015
Full house!

This conference featured a fantastic set of speakers who gave advice on every part of the digitisation process, from planning, writing a funding proposal, technicalities, accessibility and digital preservation. Many thanks to the Internet Archive for giving us a tour of their sophisticated digitisation suite.

Hannah Rice HullCraft Poster at MLAGI was carrying out a poster session on our HullCraft project, telling delegates the story of how we are digitising architectural plans of Francis Johnson’s work and engaging a hard to reach audience using Minecraft. I had a very enjoyable day talking to a wide variety of people from other archives and museums about the project, and was was thrilled to find out that other archives are beginning to plan their own Minecraft-related projects.

Overall it was a very useful event (and highly organised- thank you Melanie Grant and Jane Bramwell!) and I came away with lots of great digitisation advice that will be of use during my Transforming Archives traineeship at the Hull History Centre. If you want to find out more about the conference I highly recommend viewing Caitlin Moore’s Storify as it provides a great summary of the event!

Links:  MLAG blog and Twitter,  Heritage Quay website and Twitter.

Lots of laughs were had!
Lots of laughs were had!

Digital Past 2015 Conference

Brangwyn Hall, Swansea
Beautiful windows at the Guildhall, Swansea

Last week I trekked from Yorkshire to Wales for this year’s Digital Past conference, held at Brangwyn Hall (the Guildhall), Swansea (11th and 12th February). It was worth the 7hr train journey!

The conference was organised by RCAHMW and featured talks by archaeologists, photographers, librarians, educators and animators- a wide range of expertise and backgrounds.

To see the full line up of speakers check out the conference’s blog site.

I went to hear about some of the fantastic examples of digital technologies currently used in heritage projects, from 3D printing, Minecraft, augmented and virtual reality to gigapixel photography and laser scanning. I particularly enjoyed the strong 3D visualisation and gaming theme looking at historical accuracy, game based learning and public engagement. I was really blown away by the talent for modelling historical architecture and interiors, and it is definitely something for me to aspire to!

Digital Past Sphere
Giant inflatable sphere- lots of fun!

The key aspect for me that came from the two days was the importance of digital inclusion and capturing stories to create a local passion for heritage. One of the barriers is simply a lack of interest and technologies can help break that barrier as it offers the public involvement and participation through activities such as crowdsourcing.

Many thanks to RCAHMW for the fantastic conference! You can also follow the conversations  tweeted on #digitalpast2015.

I Presented at the Digital Utopias Conference

On the 20th January I was very fortunate to have presented at the Arts Council’s national conference “Digital Utopias” on the Hull History Centre’s archives engagement project “HullCraft“.

“Digital Utopias was a one-day conference which inspired and sparked debate about how new technologies are enabling creativity across the arts. The conference captured topical and diverse approaches to curation, archiving, collecting and creating from a range of art forms, from the visual arts to theatre”. (Arts Council England)

The conference was held at the Hull Truck Theatre and there were lots of big tech, arts and culture names there, from the Google Cultural Institute to the V&A! See the programme to view a full list of speakers.

As I was there representing the Hull History Centre, you can read my full extended blog post here on the Hull History Centre blog.

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