Project Update #3 02.SEPT.2015
Two months into the project and with the summer holiday season now coming to an end, I am pleased to give you an update on the latest progress.
With introductions over, our travels round the region are now focused on meeting match-funders, finalising project paperwork, establishing volunteer networks, and attending a busy programme of outreach events including talks to local history groups and national conferences. As before, please let us know of any upcoming events you have planned which you would like us to attend.
Date for your diary!
Free next Friday? We’ve teamed up with Gloucestershire Archives to offer a unique glimpse of work at the archive as part of Gloucester’s Heritage Open Day on Friday 11th September 2015.
Discover what goes on behind the scenes at Gloucestershire Archives and watch experts in action conserving and digitally photographing historic maps as part of the Know Your Place West of England project.
FREE guided tours of the conservation lab and strong rooms will run at 2pm and 3pm, led by archive and Know Your Place staff, but spaces are limited and must be booked in advance. More information can be found at: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/digitising-historic-gloucestershire-maps
We hope to see some of you there!
Help us spread the word
At the latest count, we now have almost 200 followers via Facebook and Twitter and plan to regularly use our social media to share project news – as well as put a word in for our partners and supporter organisations! If you haven’t already done so, you can follow the project on Twitter: @KYPWestEngland and on Facebook at: Know Your Place – West of England and we’ll follow you back.
News of Know Your Place is also starting to appear across the region as we begin writing articles for a range of partner newsletters. If you run a news publication for your members, we’d love a slot in a future issue.
Fancy writing something yourself? Through the project we hope to showcase some of the rich heritage collections to be found across the area, with photos and stories behind the West’s interesting artefacts, landmarks and historic people – and we could do with your help. Share your local knowledge and favourite heritage gems with us by email and we’ll include as many as we can on Facebook. Get in touch with us to find out more.
Work at the Archives
ICAM are packing up their equipment in Wiltshire and moving to Gloucestershire archives this week, to begin digital photography next week into mid-October, before their final destination at the South West Heritage Trust in Taunton in November.
We look forward to working with new lead curator in digital mapping, Phil Hatfield, at the British Library, who will be supplying early Ordinance Survey maps of the region to go onto Know Your Place.
Over the past month Anne has been training up our first enthusiastic volunteers in South Gloucestershire, to test the software tools and techniques we will use to process map images so they can be added to the Know Your Place website. The aim is to use open source (free) software and websites which volunteers can work with from the comfort of their own PCs/laptops and we have identified several good solutions which we’re currently testing before deciding the best one to work with across the whole project.
Anne has also started to recruit volunteers to work on georeferencing projects in Wiltshire, and will soon be looking for volunteers in Gloucestershire and then the Somerset counties. There will also be plenty of other volunteering opportunities opening up from Spring 2016, so any groups or individuals who would like to be involved in volunteering in any capacity for the project, please contact us to find out more.
With details of the above work now dropping into place, we have developed a project schedule with an estimate of when we’ll be working on what and plan to have the entire region ‘live’ on the Know Your Place website by next summer. At a conservative estimate, the order of work is looking like: South Gloucestershire online in October; Wiltshire by February ’16; Gloucestershire by April ’16; and Somerset, North Somerset and B&NES by July 2016. This is dictated by how soon we can get all materials ready in each of the areas and – crucially – how many volunteers we muster, so your help in sending volunteers our way will directly contribute to the speed of the work.
Just a quick final note that project partners will be meeting for the first progress meeting on 14th September 2015, so look out for the next Project email with updates from that and other developments this coming month.
Best wishes as always,
Felicia Davies, Project Officer, Know Your Place – West of England.