Digital history   matt thompson
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Digital history matt thompson






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Digital history   matt thompson Digital history matt thompson Presentation Transcript

  • ‘… from which to taste a vicarious holiday’: Railway marketing, digital history and collaboration. Matt Thompson, University of York
  • The Project Picturing the Tourist Utopia of the Great Western Railway , 1897 - 1947
    • Funded through the AHRC Beyond Text programme
    • Three year doctoral project
      • University of York (IRS&TH)
      • National Railway Museum (non-academic partner)
    • Sources:
      • 30,000+ images (original negatives) at NRM
      • Staff magazine 1890s – 1947 at NRM
      • Comprehensive collection of guidebooks, pamphlets and posters at NRM
    • Lack of sources- very little documentary evidence at NRM/TNA… a case of ‘intention retrieval’!
  • Railway Marketing
    • Lots of books- but mainly ‘enthusiast’ literature
    • Marketing: an import from the US?
    • Market segmentation
      • Present in railway marketing pre 1914
    • Landscape imagery key to the marketing strategies of the railways
    • Railway companies were ‘ were quick to perceive the possibilities of the pictures as an advertising asset’
    View slide
  • Railway Marketing View slide
  • The ‘citizen geographer’
  • Methodologies
    • Continuity and change in the types of landscapes pictured by GWR over 50 year period.
    • Context of production
  • Changes in the GWR’s tourist utopia Below: pre 1914- sublime landscapes, typically unpopulated. The Cheeswring from 1904 edition of Cornish Riviera. Above: Newquay from 1935 edition of Holiday Haunts, landscapes of activity filled with tourists.
  • Museums and digital technology
    • ‘ Make more stuff available to more people’
    • Public accessibility projects attracted funding and staff resources
      • The academic researcher is an audience too!
  • Agency and the context of production
    • 30,000+ images- not ALL were published
    • Able to compare images of a location, taken at the same time, which were NOT chosen for publication
  • GIS mapping
    • Images have associated geographical qualities
    • Assign each image a lat/long reference
    • Map the images
      • Patterns and trends through time
      • Relationships with changing corporate ‘territories’
  • GIS mapping
  • Moving beyond the museum
    • Commercial Cultures project
    • Outputs
      • 2 x PhD, 1 x post-doc, museum exhibitions, monograph
      • Mobile app
    • Allowing access to the collections beyond the museum walls
      • A mobility collection that can be engaged with while mobile
  • Digital Humanities Troubles related deaths in Belfast, 1968-2001. (a) Protestant civilians killed by Republicans and (b) Catholic civilians killed by Loyalists
  • Converting a text to a GIS
    • … off I sallied - over the Bridge, thro' the Hop-Field, thro' the <pl_name visited=&quot;Y&quot;> Prospect Bridge </pl_name> at <pl_name visited=&quot;Y&quot;> Portinscale </pl_name> , so on by the tall Birch that grows out of the centre of the huge Oak, along into <pl_name visited=&quot;Y&quot;> Newlands </pl_name> -- <pl_name visited=&quot;Y&quot;> Newlands </pl_name> is indeed a lovely place…
    • (Source: S.T. Coleridge’s tour of the
    • Lake District, August 1802)
  • ‘ Close Reading’ with Google Earth
  • To close…
    • Thinking more about meta data associated with sources not just the content of the source itself
      • Where produced?
      • Has it moved?
      • Personal significances?
      • How can this be pictured?
    • Engagement with wider audiences- both academic and museum
    • Thank you for your time… any questions?