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The People's Heritage Showcase

Objective

To build and trial a user-friendly web based system to automatically collect, create, collate and share visual and text based information from buildings and objects which children consider to be of historical interest. It will provide a scalable, centrally served data management system, with local access to simple digitising equipment. It will establish the viability of contributing to and exploring information from heritage sites.
The project aims to build active online heritage communities, which engender trust, motivation, ownership, and user participation, through the creation of democratic, grass-roots extensions to existing cultural collections. The proposal grows from the success of our existing publishing partnership (Digital Time traveller series) and would re-purpose data structures produced for a national database of children's artwork (Walkers Showcase).

Objectives:
- To motivate young people to engage directly with cultural heritage activities through the use of appropriate interactive web technologies;
- To encourage individuals to contribute, fostering aspects of inclusion, trust, motivation, ownership and participation;
- To re-purpose an existing, centrally served, user-friendly, web based system that dynamically collects, collates and shares visual and text based information from buildings and objects, which children consider to be of historical interest, either now or in the future;
- To provide a secure, free-standing, digitising installation allowing individuals to easily capture and enter objects into the system;
- To add experiential context and meaning to key artefacts from local collections by presenting structured challenges for young people to contribute their ideas, experience and connections;
- To network the heritage community around young people's individual contributions;
- To provide intuitive access to material via a range of different search systems;
- To validate this approach through local trials and share our findings.

Work description:
- To re-purpose the existing Showcase information system. This is a centrally served web database with modules to allow individual users to upload, tag and describe a wide range of individual data files, which can then be cross referenced, displayed and interrogated against a range of criteria. The system is scalable and currently provides national access to children's artwork;
- To specify appropriate, user-friendly information structures within this system that meet the requirements of the Heritage Showcase and allow young people to enter and describe objects, which they consider to be of historical interest, either now or in the future;
- To design an engaging, self-supporting, child friendly interface with appropriate help and information facilities and integrate this into the system;
- To programme the required components and provide all necessary software licences, server hardware, Internet hosting, bandwidth and backup to make the Heritage Showcase available online to selected user groups for the duration of the trial;
- To preload the system with content (drawn from local collections) to initiate and motivate contribution from young people;
- To specify, design and build a secure, free-standing, digitising installation, comprising PC, digital camera and/or scanner, Internet connection, and software to allow individuals to easily capture and enter objects into the central Heritage Showcase;
- To set up and test the central system and digitising installation and install these at a local centre including transportation and training;
- To work with local staff to encourage uses of the system either through special events, promotions and/or additional training;
- To prepare questionnaires and report structures to gather evidence of effective use of the system;
- To lease, manage, support, monitor, modify and evaluate the system in use through telephone, online, and regular site visits;
- To co ordinate the activities of the project team through monthly management meetings and re-disseminate the results.

Milestones
Specifications: central information system software, hardware and connectivity, user interface, digitising booth;
Testing and installation: system, local digitising booth, access to system from both, school and home;
Local trial implementation: populated system with range of exhibits and information, site usage data, questionnaires and interviews, site reports;
Evaluation, reporting and dissemination: proposal for national, European and international implementation, national seminar, web report.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS COMMISSION FOR ENGLAND
Address
Kemble Drive
SN2 2GZ Swindon
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

TAG LEARNINIG LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
25 Pelham Road
DA11 0HU Gravesend, Kent