Category Archives: Exchange fellows

Story-sharing workshop in the Lace Market

Do you have a personal or family connection to the Lace Market? If so, come and share your own stories of life in this area, and become a part of a unique project that is documenting and sharing the social history of this area.

As part of my CEKE fellowship, I am organising two story-sharing workshops, in collaboration with Deborah Tyler-Bennett and Debbie Bryan. Here are some further details if you are interested in attending.

https://www.facebook.com/lacemarketlivinghistory
https://www.facebook.com/Deborah.TylerBennett
https://www.facebook.com/DebbieBryanUK

KE Fellowship – Sarah Cole (at CAS)

I’m Sarah Cole, Director of Time/Image – a heritage and collections consultancy based in London.

Time/Image predominantly works to enhance historical and cultural collections through research, digitisation, curation, creative promotion,  and improved online presence. We work with all forms of archives, though moving image collections are our speciality. Our goal is to maximise the opportunities for access, exploration, and engagement.

British Council FIlm CollectionA typical example of our work is the British Council Film Collection – a joint project between the British Council, the British Film Institute, Google, and Time/Image.
When Time/Image first encountered this collection, it was simply as a list of titles and dates. Over 18 months, we worked to research, digitise, catalogue, and provide content around this remarkable film archive. In May 2012 the collection became available for the public to watch and download for free, receiving overwhelming positive press and vast numbers of viewers.

Time/Image History ShopExperimenting independently with modes of engagement, Time/Image was the main contributor at a pop-up ‘shop’ in Exmouth Market, London. This two-week event was held in partnership with the charity New Deal of the Mind and organisation Meanwhile Space. The former shop was set up as a museum of local history featuring both films and static visual media, and encouraged members of the public to share their own histories and interact with archive materials.

I am currently working on a broad Knowledge Exchange Fellowship with the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Nottingham, allowing me to work across different CEKE projects and to work with other CEKE fellows. My aims are to:

  • Explore common themes and connections between the different CEKE projects under the ‘Archives, Assets, and Audiences’ umbrella.
  • Bring my experiences of film and engagement methods to a range of CEKE projects.
  • Explore and develop the ‘Blink’ idea (a concept for a framework for cross-domain ‘tours’ of online content, with heavy focus on user interactivity and narrative) as a means of curating a digital trail through online sources.
  • To explore the theme of digital and physical user curation and contribution, across both the other CEKE projects and the wider heritage sector.
  • Explore the ‘pop-up’ exhibition shop as one of the possible outcomes of the CEKE project.

I have thus far been focussing on the the pop-up exhibition and exploring cross-project links as well as the way in which various themes manifest – or don’t – in each project.

The latter of these has involved interviewing as many participants as possible to get a feel for the projects, what challenges they’re facing, and what issues they are addressing. It has been unexpectedly interesting to speak to different members of any given project, as individuals do not always have the same motivations or interests as their colleagues, despite their common goals. Other interesting points to emerge so far are the differences of approach between projects that have a more academic focus and those which are technology focussed, as well as the prominent theme of visitor experience in all projects I have explored to date.

With regards to the pop-up exhibition, we have made good progress, and are currently looking at occupying a large, currently unused shop space on Carlton Street in conjunction with a bigger scheme that’s being organised by the Creative Quarter. The idea is that the space will be used as a temporary exhibition space – probably for about a week – at the end of the year where all the ‘Archives, Assets, and Audiences’ projects can display or represent their work to the public. This would be a particularly great location as it’s in the Lace Market area, which relates to a number of the projects who would exhibit there.

This arrangement is looking promising, but I’m hoping to have a more definite idea of whether we’ll be able to use the space in the very near future.

My exploration of the ‘Blink’ concept continues (though largely with non-CEKE parties) and I am keen to speak to anyone with thoughts about digital curation, user curation, data trails, and narrative.

I am also assisting the Malt Cross project in locating and retrieving film archive material.

I am hoping to speak to many more projects in the next few weeks, and I would be immensely grateful if those of you I haven’t spoken to yet would get in touch.

I am happy to hold interviews in person, via Skype, or over the phone at your convenience.

I’m also interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on the pop-up exhibition, such as whether you think the concept will work with your project and what you might like to display.

Learning about the Lace Market

As part of my CEKE fellowship, I’ve been learning about the Lace Market area of Nottingham, in preparation for prototyping some new experiences to try out there. I’ve learned a lot of interesting stuff already. For anyone interested in this area, I would recommend a book called “The Lace Market, Nottingham”, by Geoffrey Oldfield of the Nottingham Civic Society, and available in the tourist information office. It is worth mentioning that the  civic society themselves seem to have done an enormous amount of work to retain the character of the Lace Market, and have helped to avoid development work which would have been disruptive to its nature, including the construction of a large trunk road straight through the middle of it.

Having read the book mentioned above, and after a visit to the Nottinghamshire Archives, I have become really interested in the layouts of the streets in the Lace Market and the potential for augmenting them with some interesting content. It appears that the key streets (e.g. High Pavement, Stoney Gate and St. Mary’s Gate) were certainly present, and in their current location, in 1610, and may well have been present in 1435 and even earlier. Any information on any of these streets would be very welcome – contact details below. These streets could then be an interesting reference point for a smartphone experience – which could potentially integrate content that spans a whole millennium.

Of those key streets, I find St. Mary’s Gate particularly interesting. The name itself gives a hint of its ancient origins – the derivation of gate is from gata, an Old Norse word for street, and the Lace Market area is known to have been occupied by Danish Vikings in AD 868. St. Mary’s Church, at the end of this street, is at least 500 years old, and a church has been present on this site since at least 1086. In 1843, warehouses for Lace were present on this street, and in 1847, the Nottingham Journal described St. Mary’s Gate as the “seat of the Lace Market”. Today, however, very little of this long history is apparent in the physical appearance of the street itself, which seems a shame. The street itself is actually very quiet and free of traffic, and also fairly short of natural light (thanks to Tim Coughlan for these observations). As such, it is a good candidate for augmentation with content such as audio recordings or projections, and I will be considering these kinds of possibilities during my fellowship.

In the meantime, I would like to collect as much information about St. Mary’s Gate as possible – whether historical, personal or anecdotal. If you would like to send me something, there are a few ways to do it. You can email me at cekelacemarket@gmail.com or tweet to @cekelacemarket – I will assume that anything sent to these addresses is private, and will ask permission before including content in any prototype experiences. If you want to write a public tweet, please use any of the following hashtags: #lacemarket, #stmarysgate, #stoneystreet, #highpavement and #broadstreet, which I will be monitoring and using myself. Please follow @cekelacemarket – I will be posting interesting things that I find to that, and advertising opportunities to get involved in this project. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts at all around the Lace Market – I’ll be listening!

Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, CEKE fellow.

The Lace Market: archives and the process of re-invention

As a long-term user of Broadway, and the many wonderful cafes along Broad Street, it has been interesting to observe the streetscape work that is ongoing there. The road is being narrowed and the pavement widened and re-layed. A more attractive and usable space is being created, and hopefully this should draw people into one of the more quirky and interesting areas of Nottingham, especially if we get some warm sunny evenings that are encouraging to being outside.

Interestingly, this street work is being badged as just one part of the “Creative Quarter project”, an initiative which is just starting to become more visible in the area itself. Essentially, this seems to be a large, government- and council-supported effort to stimulate the re-invention of a whole area of the city. The area involved is really quite large, encompassing at least Hockley, the Lace Market and BioCity. Because of the unique nature of this area, there is a very specific focus on creative industries, alongside others. If there is truly £50 million available in some form, then we can expect activity in this area for a long time to come.

All of this has then got me thinking – is there a role for archives in this kind of reinvention, and if so, what is it? More specifically – can a greater availability of archival material that documents the past support the process of reinvention in the future, and if so, what mechanisms can be used to collect and distribute it, in a manner that is beneficial to all involved, and which respects both the cultural context and intellectual property rights? These questions are especially relevant to some aspects of the creative industries, including those that are trying to sell their products in this area. If archives and history can draw people in, then can this support sales, and allow the creative sector to grow? Equally, given several centuries of creativity in relation to the lace design, could an archive of creative material from the past support the work of makers and artists in the future?

Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, CEKE Knowledge Exchange Fellow

Archive to Asset Heritage Projects Start in Nottingham and Leicester

The following projects have been awarded funding under the AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Project led by the Universities of Nottingham, Leicester and Nottingham Trent: Archives, Assets and Audiences: new modes to engage audiences with archival content and heritage sites. The projects are funded by the AHRC and through match funding from the Universities.

Feasibility projects:

Dr David Amos, Dr Sarah Badcock (University of Nottingham), Paul Fillingham (ThinkAmigo) and Bilsthorpe Heritage Society: A History of Mining in 10 Objects. This project will pilot the use of digital technologies to engage former mineworkers, their families and the public in the history of mining in the East Midlands.

Dr Sarah Badcock (University of Nottingham), Vicky Shipp (University of Nottingham) and Bev Baker (Galleries of Justice): Young people at work and play in penal institutions at the turn of the 19th century. This project seeks to pilot the use of digital technologies to enhance the visitor experience and engagement with the collections and archives at the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham.

Dr Ben Bedwell (University of Nottingham), Dr Gaby Neher (University of Nottingham) and James Parkinson (Stonebridge Trust): Wander Thoresby. The Project will use a location-based digital platform Wander Anywhere to co-develop an exhibition of Thoresby’s industrial heritage, providing a novel visitor experience that extends the limited indoor exhibition space to encompass the Estate’s expansive grounds.

Sean Clark (Cuttlefish Multimedia Ltd), Katie Flaherty (Phoenix Leicester), Dr Simon Dixon (University of Leicester) and Thomas Hulme (student intern, University of Leicester): Locative Media Production Hub. This project will use collections from the University’s Special Collections Archive, multimedia resources and new material captured through open workshops to develop a rich multimedia tour of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter.

Dr Elizabeth Hurren (University of Leicester) and Esther Simpson (Watch This Space): Just a Step Away.  The project will draw on a range of archives and collections to research the rise, fall and reinvention of the boot and shoe industry in Leicester. The project  will result in 6 short films that will be projected onto the windows of The Royal Arcade for one week in November 2013.

Julian Hanby (Community Theatre Practitioner), Dr Jo Robinson (University of Nottingham), Dr Anton Frank (University of Nottingham), Dr James Goulding and Victoria Shipp (University of Nottingham) and Jo Cox-Brown and Matt Buck (Malt Cross): Musical Echoes. This project will explore and expose the history of Nottingham’s last remaining musical hall (Malt Cross) by combining research into the archives of the Malt Cross and other musical halls and experimenting with different digital and projection technologies to produce a virtual performance for the current users and audiences of the Malt Cross venue.

Dr James Goulding (University of Nottingham), Dr Richard Gaunt (University of Nottingham), Prof. Mike Heffernan (University of Nottingham), Dr Gary Priestnall (University of Nottingham), Dr Stuart Reeves (University of Nottingham) and Adrian Davies (Nottingham City Museum and Art Galleries): Projection Augmented Relief Models for Historical Understandings in Museum Settings: The 1831 Nottingham Reform Bill Riots. This project will examine how to deliver complex historical, educational and geographical information to engage audiences in a specific historical event.

Dr Boriana Koleva (University of Nottingham), Dr Richard Mortie (University of Nottingham), Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode (Nottingham Trent University), Dr Sarah Kettle (Nottingham Trent University) and Judith Edgar (Newstead Abbey): Using Aestheticodes to enhance visitor interactions with lace collections. The project will investigate how patterns in lace design can be used as a basis for generating a recognisable digital code that can store information about the heritage of the lace industry and be made accessible to visitors and collection users.

Don Munro (Munro and Whitten) and Dr Rebecca Madgin (University of Leicester): Makers’ Yard, Leicester: Contemporary Interpretation through the Leicester Creative Industries. The project will re-interpret the history of Makers’ Yard and the place of this former factory in Leicester’s hosiery industry and its potential role in emerging creative industries. The project aims to demonstrate the potential sustainable re-use of Makers’ Yard historic environment as a part of a regeneration project.

Dr Gary Priestnall (University of Nottingham), Catherine Stead (Keswick Museum), Prof. Mike Heffernan (University of Nottingham) and Katarina Lorenz (University of Nottingham): Digital Reconstruction and Display of Landscape Models: reviving Mayson’s Ordnance Model of 1875. This project aims to demonstrate the potential for digitally reconstructing and displaying artefacts that would not normally be viewed by the public. Working with individual tiles of a 19th-century physical terrain model the project will produce an exhibit to demonstrate the process of reconstruction and give a digital impression of the original large scale model.

Dr Iain Simons (Nottingham Trent University) and Stella Wisdom (British Library): National Video Game Archive: Cultures of Play. This project aims to establish a new platform for research into cultures of (videogame) play within the UK and new insights into the history of the videogame industry. The project will create an online archive of oral histories recording cultures of play within family units and will promote the National Videogame Archive as a research resource.

Fellowships

Nick Alfrey (University of Nottingham) and Isobel Whitelegg (Nottingham Contemporary) will work with a post-doctoral intern, Dr Oliver Dunnett, to  conduct an initial survey of the archives related to the Midland Group, an arts organisation founded in Nottingham in 1943. The project aims to explore the archives and how they might be used as part of a digital archive and research resource for Nottingham Contemporary and its audiences.

Dr Graham Black (Nottingham Trent University) will work with the Framework Knitters Museum at Ruddington to develop an overall vision and interpretation of the Museum taking into account its planned acquisition of Gunn Cottage.

Dr Alan Chamberlain (University of Nottingham) will work with the People’s Collection Wales to explore how the cultural assets of the collection can be ‘released’ through re-packaging and re-purposing the content in different and innovative ways including how the collection might be made more readily available as a research resource.

Sarah Cole (Time/Image) will take up an industry fellowship in the Centre for Advanced Studies at Nottingham to share her experience of working with film archives as part of digital presentations to the public and explore means of curating digital trails through different resources to guide new audiences. Sarah will work with many of the feasibility projects listed above.

Dr Tim Coughlan (University of Nottingham) will work with Nottingham Contemporary will explore new ways of combining the built environment, archives and technology to provoke reflection and creativity in the Lace market area of Nottingham.

Dr Stefan Egglestone (University of Nottingham) will work with Broadway Media Centre to explore how different digital technologies might be used to reveal different aspects of the history of Nottingham’s Lace Market and create narrative trails and ‘urban screens’.

Dr Colin Hyde (University of Leicester) will work with Leicester City Council to develop the ‘Story of Leicester’ initiative and engage new audiences to the project through archives relating to Leicester’s industrial past.

Dr James Moore (University of Leicester) will work with Hinkley and Bosworth Borough Council and Hinkley and Bosworth Museum to establish the resources, archives and oral history material available to enable the history of the knitwear industry to be told through local and regional participants and audiences.

Nick Patrick (Producer of BBC Radio 4’s Making History) will work with Dr Richard Jones (University of Leicester) to explore the potential of different media to disseminate history and engage audiences in research. The project will focus on Leicester Forest East Services: the Cultural Landscape of a ‘non-place.’

Anna Peavitt (Big Difference Company) will work with the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester will explore archives and library collections to enable a large-scale outdoor celebration in 2014 on the theme of ‘A Changing City’.

Dr Deborah Skinner (Nottingham Trent University) and a student intern will work with Nottinghamshire County Council to explore publicly accessible archives relating to industrial heritage at risk within the county.

Dr Néstor Valero-Silva (Nottingham Trent University) will work with Nottingham Contemporary to explore the contribution of the institutional archive and the process of archiving to the development of artistic, learning, public and digital strategies.

Updated 15th August 2013