Tudor Heritage, Wolf Hall and Ipswich

Wolsey's Gate, Ipswich
Wolsey’s Gate, Ipswich © David Gill

The Ipswich Star asked the question, “How can Ipswich make the most of the Tudor revival brought about by BBC series Wolf Hall?” (28 January 2015). Visitors to Ipswich can see ‘Wolsey’s Gate’ in College Street, part of the planned ‘Cardinal College’ founded by Thomas Wolsey. Local MP Ben Gummer was interviewed:

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who is also a respected historian, said it was important for Ipswich to make the most of its Tudor history, but that did not mean it should recreate a “Disneyland” style area.

He said: “There are many ways to show off the town’s history with the use of apps on smart phones and tablets and virtual descriptions.”

A digital heritage ‘game’ is in fact under development for Ipswich.

Ipswich is also home to Christchurch Mansion that houses part of the town’s art collections.

Seminar Thurs 27th: Public Archaeology and the internet – the impact of social networking technologies on communicating heritage

Lorna Richardson

The next UCS heritage seminar will be on Thursday 27th (note the change of day for this event!).  Lorna Richardson, researcher at University College London, will be presenting: Public Archaeology and the internet – the impact of social networking technologies on communicating heritage

Summary:  This paper will examine the impact of Internet technologies on the practice of public archaeology, within professional archaeological communities working in commercial archaeology, higher education, local authority planning departments and community settings, as well the voluntary archaeology sector in the UK.  To explore this issue, the paper will briefly examine the role and activities of archaeological organisations using Internet platforms for public engagement; audiences, participation and communities in online archaeology, and the impact of digital inequalities on the audience for archaeological information.  It will discuss relationships within archaeological social networks that are theoretically linked with social capital and weak ties, and uses the social media platform of Twitter  as a testing ground, as well as the online public archaeology blogging project, the Day of Archaeology .

The talk will be held in the Waterfront Building, UCS Ipswich, at 4.30pm.  Please email Julie Barber if you’d like to come along: julie.barber@ucs.ac.uk

Digital Engagement in Archaeology

Clip from Digital Attica project: 2-evaluate, Swansea University

I have been attending the “Digital Engagement in Archaeology” conference at the Institute of Archaeology in London. There were some excellent papers, and constructive “tweetenvironment“. I was asked to chair one of the panels and to sum up today’s papers (along with Professor Gary Lock, School of Archaeology, Oxford University).

I had to reflect on audience. One of the things that I gained from my Swansea undergraduate and postgraduate students was that however good the technology was, if they could not see the value, then they would not be keen to use it. So we need to be pragmatic about how we use technology. My Swansea postgraduate students on my “Digital Antiquity” module made me realise that we have to anticipate changes in the technology. We need to learn how to evaluate and to apply to our research and our projects.

Mobile computing has changed. How many people at the conference would have had an iPad (or smartphone) a year (or two) ago? How did the virtual interactions enhance the papers? Did those tweets lead to (unexpected) face to face interactions? For example, I had a helpful discussion about authority and reliability of Twitter. Do we expect Twitter to be “reliable” – or does it point us to reliable Web 2.0 sites?

Open Access was a major theme with a very positive presentation from Ubiquity Press who publish Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. Will future REF exercises insist on Open Access? There was related discussion about IPR, not least over the publication of e-offprints on personal websites.

There were great insights into the use of social media, in particular Facebook, to engage with archaeological projects. Those interested in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding should look at the DigVentures project at Flag Fen.

On a final note I was struck with the inspirational quality of the “Adopt-a-Monument” scheme from Archaeology Scotland. It brought the best of Web 2.0 and community archaeology together.

Are archaeologists creating digital environments and engaging with new audiences? The workshop clearly showed that they are.

When is the next meeting?

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