Thursday, 17 July 2014

Digital Heritage 2014 conference

On Saturday I attended the Digital Heritage 2014 conference organised by the Centre for Digital Heritage at York with an eye to both current and possible future projects in mind. I was struck by the multi-disciplinary nature of the Centre and hope that the current initiatives at Hull based around the Creative Economy can be as effective.

My personal take on some of the 15 papers presented: 

Catherine Clarke (University of Southampton) delivered an excellent keynote highlighting her experiences in recreating medieval Chester and her current project on medieval Swansea bringing together a host of original sources to create engaging multi-media websites with elements for academic and public audiences. Both were funded through the AHRC (now why can't we do something like this for City of Culture in 2017!!).

Laura King and Jamie Stark (University of Leeds) asked us to consider the cultural value of digital engagement and whether the use of digital technology enhances or obscures access to the past.

Sanna Wicks (University of Birmingham) looked at the value of mobile apps and the preliminary results from her research won't surprise many - that the apps did lead to new information to be discovered, that most did generate a sense of engagement and enjoyment, that interactive maps were really popular and the over-riding conclusion that mobile interpretation can't be ignored.

Douglas Cawthorne (De Montford University) from the Digital Building Heritage Group demonstrated recent work with 3D scanning, using animation to bring to life reconstructions of buildings including the use of plans and drawings of buildings that were never physically built. (again very relevant to us given the thousands of plans and drawings held in the History Centre collections).

Mark Gibbs from Tullie House museum, Carlisle shared his experiences of gaming in museums and with working with the artist Adam Clarke to use Minecraft (something we are starting to explore using the Francis Johnson architectural collection - more on this hopefully in a few weeks!). (See an article on the Tullie house event)

Relive the conference via its Twitter feed  @CDHYork

Simon Wilson
Senior Archivist

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