Archives Inspire Video

Last year I was very fortunate to be invited to The National Archives (TNA) in Kew to feature in their Archives Inspire video (above), filmed by the wonderful Magneto Films.

It was a privilege to be filmed alongside the other cast who are all brilliant professionals and it was lovely to revisit TNA after spending a year as one of their Transforming Archives Trainee‘s. The Magneto team were very professional, especially as it was my 1st attempt at being in front of a rather large camera!

Archives Inspire is a four year campaign looking at new ways audiences can experience and use archives- have a look at TNA’s Chief Executive Jeff James’ blog post and the Archives Inspire pages on TNA’s website for more.

Digital is an interesting challenge for the archives sector, where records being produced are increasingly in the digital format (think from large organisation’s records to personal photographs). Over the past decade Archivists have been thinking about how to preserve digital media for accountability, evidential, cultural and research purposes. At present, digital is now becoming central to the archival profession as we hope to preserve these records and facilitate access.

I am particularly interested in the creative uses of archives, especially heritage engagement using 3D models, websites, online exhibitions and videogames. I was very honoured to be able to showcase some of my 3D work in TNA’s Archives Inspire video- you can see my North Bar (Beverley) model in the video showcased using the software Blender 3D. Very grateful that something I’ve been doing for over 5 years is being featured in such an important video.

 

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My Blog Post on The National Archives website

Have a look at my blog post on The National Archives website:

From Letters to Lego, Manuscripts to Minecraft“.

In this post I describe what I’ve been getting up to in the world of archives so far in my Transforming Archives Traineeship at the Hull History Centre. Many thanks go to Emma Stagg, Transforming Archives Project Manager, for coordinating these- I’m looking forward to seeing all the other trainee’s posts about their traineeships!

Also have a read of Emma’s blog post “Transforming Archives Traineeships” where she announces the new traineeships for cohort 2.

Life at the Hull History Centre

Looking at a Francis Johnson architectural plan at the overhead camera
Looking at a Francis Johnson architectural plan at the overhead camera

Lots of exciting things have happened in the past three months since my introductory post working as a trainee at the Hull History Centre under the “Transforming Archives” scheme.

I’ve been blogging on the Hull History Centre’s blog recently where you can read about the HullCraft project (engaging young people with archival material using Minecraft), and my work digitising the Grand Tour diary of Francis Johnson, a local architect.

TNAbuilding
The National Archives building

In late November I spent a week at The National Archives in Kew which was insightful. It was my first visit and I was accompanied by all the other “Transforming Archives” trainees who are based at different archives services nationally. To read more on my week at The National Archives have a look at my Hull History Centre blog post.

I was also promoting HullCraft at the Platform Expos 2014 at Hull College accompanied by Joel Mills and our recycled archive boxes Creeper and Steve. This was a fantastic day of speaking to gamers and teachers about the project, recruiting new HullCrafters and showcasing the server live on a big screen. The server features a reconstruction of the Hull History Centre and took approximately 18450 blocks to build!

Myself on the HullCraft stand at Platform Expos
Myself on the HullCraft stand at Platform Expos
The Hull History Centre in Minecraft
The Hull History Centre in Minecraft

The next coming year brings lots of events that I would recommend for anyone interested in digitisation and digital heritage.

I have a showcase session with Joel at the Digital Utopias event in Hull on the 20th January 2015. We will be demonstrating the HullCraft project and looking at  re-contextualising archives using Minecraft.

I am also particularly looking forward to attending Digital Pasts 2015 at Swansea, and Minecraft Unplugged in Leeds.

More posts to follow on these events!

My “Transforming Archives” Traineeship- Introduction

Last week I was told the fantastic news that I will be the new trainee in digitisation, outreach and community engagement at the Hull History Centre for 2014-2015. I will be part of a group of 12, each of us working at an archives institution across the UK, on a scheme led by The National Archives called “Transforming Archives”.

I am very excited to be given this role as I am local to Hull and eager to contribute to heritage work in the run up to Hull’s 2017 City of Culture year and the University of Hull’s 90th anniversary (also in 2017).

The role of Hull History Centre, as quoted from their website:

“The Hull History Centre (HHC) brings together the material held by the City Archives and Local Studies Library with those held by the University of Hull. These include the City’s borough archives, dating back to 1299 and amongst the best in the country; records relating to the port and docks of Hull; papers of companies and organisations reflecting Hull’s maritime history; papers of notable individuals including Andrew Marvell, Philip Larkin, Amy Johnson and William Wilberforce; records relating to local and national politics and pressure groups; and over 100,000 photographs, illustrations; maps and plans, newspapers, special collections and reference sources relating to Hull and the East Riding.”

I have a passion for this region’s architectural and cultural heritage, having studied the area during my five years of university, and feel it is important to communicate Hull’s history to the community, in particular by using digital technologies.

I will be working with the digitisation of Philip Larkin’s photographs and letters to his parents (spanning 1942 – 1973), and images from the University of Hull’s photographic archives. I will also be working with online technologies such as social media to communicate and collaborate with online users that could possibly suggest improvements to the Hull History Centre’s services.

I am looking forward to doing the following:

* Understand how an archive service works including records held and our main user communities and collections development with particular reference to institutional collecting policy

* Analysing existing archive collections and drawing out their potential for online audiences

* Understanding of cross-sectoral work and relationship with other heritage services in Hull and across Yorkshire

* Understanding of the preservation issues around digitisation including handling of original material and curation of digital surrogates

* Technical and practical digitisation skills including scanner/camera settings, metadata elements, file formats and storage requirements

* Awareness of the regulatory background to digitisation including copyright, licensing and data protection and how to assess risks and develop strategy

* Identifying and preparing material for exhibition including writing captions

* Skills in communicating information about archives and the stories behind them to different audiences

* Web design skills and working with content management systems

* Writing for the web, communicating via Facebook and Twitter

* Developing and interpreting archive collections by, for example, making digital stories and creating online learning resources

* Evaluating the success and impact of web resources.

 I have spent over five years studying heritage, a BA in History of Art and Architecture and an MSc in Digital Heritage, and feel that the real-life projects in this traineeship will be most beneficial to my practical skills in digitisation (something that was missing from my degrees). I will be able to build a portfolio of achievement, learn new skills and undertake a vocational qualification in Information and Archives Services.

I am really looking forward to getting started in October!