background image
as if it will be with, among others, volunteers from
Manchester Jewish Museum reminiscing; a Bengali
Day Centre in King's Cross; the Irish Centre in
Camden; an Irish group in Huddersfield; a couple
of Jewish Care Homes; Kensington and Chelsea
Community History Group, with the Royal Geo-
graphical Society looking at Caribbean photographs
and a Gudwara in Southall working with the
Museum of London.
B
ENEFITS AND
L
ESSONS
L
EARNT
T
he partner institutions and other organisations
and individuals have been benefiting from
taking part in the Moving Here project in many
ways:
| For some partners it was an opportunity to explore
and understand what they hold in their own
collections that relates to the four communities.
Partners with large and diverse collections even
found interesting items that had gone unnoticed
before the project.
| For organisations with special collections it was a
chance for researchers to work towards finding out
more information about existing items. At London
Metropolitan Archives, for example, a couple of
researchers were employed who had the time to
read through individual papers in files which
previously may have only been skim read.This
meant that some extra detailed information could
be added to their own cataloguing systems.
| By receiving funding to digitise their collections,
organisations can now provide access to infor-
mation in many more ways than before. For
material in much demand, making it available
digitally will now protect it from wear and tear.
| For some partners, Moving Here was the first
opportunity to make major parts of their collection
available online. For example, Sam Walker, director
of the Black Cultural Archives (located at Brixton
in south London), said: `We tried some time ago to
establish our own Website but we had limited
resources and were not able to do anything on a
large scale.'
9
| Working with other organisations meant that there
was the chance to learn about how to undertake
the digitisation of various types of material. Part of
the funding enabled some of the partners to buy
scanners and cameras, which, along with the
knowledge gained through the project, enabled
them to digitise even more of their collections.
| In particular, Moving Here gave organisations the
opportunity to develop links with the com-
munities, encouraging them to visit the actual
museum, library or archive. For example, in
December 2003 Moving Here's work with a
community centre in the Kings Cross area will
mean that some of the men from the day-care
centre will visit the British Library nearby and
look at the original items they have seen on
Moving Here.
| In some cases Moving Here partners may be able
to add items to their collections through new and
improved contact with individuals from the four
communities.
| Moving Here stimulated many members of the
communities to explore historic traces related to
themselves (e.g. their family history), and to
contribute their own stories and images.This was
also a unique opportunity for curators and scholars
to reflect on how they document, contextualise
and interpret public records and collection items.
| Other practical lessons learnt include: make sure
your authors are also aware of the needs of an
audience on the Web; make sure there is a com-
mon understanding of what metadata actually
is and what is required; make sure all partners
are equipped to deal with copyright issues etc.
Moving Here is currently undertaking an evaluation.
This will look at the functionality of the Website
itself, the impact of the site on the target audience
and the partnership process. It is hoped that the
results of this evaluation, available at the end of
March 2004, will be able to feed into any subsequent
bids for funding. In addition, it is hoped there will be
a separate evaluation of the community projects.
These should put on paper the lessons that have been
learned by the partners and start to generate a more
detailed picture of how the site is used.
Until then there can be no doubt that a solid
foundation has been formed and that Moving Here
has broken some boundaries. It worked with (and
continues to do so), and kept on board 30 partners
from three professions; it has mounted over 160,000
digital items; it has gathered 190 personal stories; it
has had over 100,000 unique visitors to the Website
in the first four months since the launch date; and has
attracted major local and national press attention.
Contact person
Helen Wood
Moving Here Project Manager
The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
e-mail: helen.wood@nationalarchives.gov.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 5330 ext 2207
DigiCULT 35
9
Cited in John Coutts:
Heritage trail on the web.
In: Guardian Unlimited, 25
September 2003,
http://www.guardian.
co.uk/online/story/0,3605,
1048692,00.html
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