It’s been a while…

Posted by in Education & Outreach, General Collections, Skills for the Future, Uncategorized

Wow how time flies!

It’s been a while since our last update, and my my haven’t we been busy.  Since November, Anna, Lewis and Niamh have been working collaboratively on two separate Heritage Projects.

These are designed to give us ownership over a project, to plan, manage and execute one single unified piece of work which combines elements of both Archival and Education and Outreach skills which we have built up over the preceding months.

Firstly, you’ll remember that back in September we visited the Isle of Eigg for a community engagement project.  Since that was soo successful we felt like we could develop the work further, using our community engagement activities as foundations from which to build upon.  The project was to include some of HES’s collection relating to the former RCAHMS 2001/2002 archaeological survey of the island, to showcase some of what our archive holds.  Early on in the project, we decided to try to develop some kind of learning resource for interpreting the archaeology of Eigg, using the survey material, and perhaps some content from our September trip to the island.

The project has included many stages, working across various departments within HES, and collaborating with many of our expert colleagues.  We’ve been working hard cataloguing the material from the 2001/2002 surveys – some 600+ 35mm slides, rehousing the material appropriately, digitising more than 150 of these slides for public access on Canmore, and developing our learning resource idea.

With much hard work, we are pleased to say we have created a multi-page website, featuring content from the 2001 and 2001 RCAHMS survey of Eigg and content generated by us from our community engagement trip spanning text, photographs, archive photographs, measured survey drawings, video footage and audio with transcriptions.

We’re really pleased with the way it’s turned out, and have received much praise throughout the process.  The website is in it’s final stages of production and is due to become live THIS WEEK!  Therefore we plan on letting you, our dear readers, know via another blog post towards the end of the week, so you don’t miss it’s launch into the World Wide Web.

Secondly, and most recently, we have been working on our second, smaller-scale heritage project.

We were tasked to pitch ideas on how the HES collections could possibly be used to engage people with archive material, and of-course promote our archive.  In this case the material was relating to Dundee’s industrial heritage, specifically the collections of drawings and photographs of the many palaces built for the ‘Jute Barons’ of Dundee that we hold.

We had a few ideas on how to approach this, but our favourite idea was inspired by a famous multiplayer board game – which I’m sure many of you will recognise.  For this project we decided to create our very own prototype HES Monopoly, called ‘Jutopoly: The Quick-Learning Industrial Heritage Game’.

Now, before we get too carried away here, please bare in mind that it is has been explicitly designed as a prototype, one-off creation made entirely in-house here at John Sinclair House, as an example of how the HES collections could be used to engage people with our archive material in a fun and accessible way, if for instance a partnership could be set up with another heritage body, such as the McManus or V&A at Dundee museum, and Copyright and Licensing Agreements were appropriately in place.

Jutopoly is a complete game and works exactly the same as Monopoly, but it provides the players the chance to get to learn about Victorian Industrial Dundee, and gives an insight into what kind of material HES houses.  In many parts of the game, players are directed towards the collection, and given prompts to learn more about HES collections by visiting Canmore and our Search Room.  It was a lot of fun creating it, and we hope it’s as much fun to play.

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