The church as an archive, the church as the embodiment of community history
Changing building use i.e. no longer churches, changing communities i.e. isolated churches no longer focus for disparate communities
Re-Reading the British Memorial Project #de2012
Nicole BealeGareth Beale http://ourti.org
The Records• Churches and memorials as an individual and a national archive• Fragile record of our communities• History, art, archaeology• Valuable objects are frequently placed at risk
A Resource at Risk• Increased weathering risk• Changing building use• Changing communities• Recording is occuring• Inconsistent documentation• Access to documentation limited
Project Aims • To enable community groups to record, collect, and disseminate church memorial data. • To investigate requirements for all stakeholders (public and the sector alike). • To develop a clear and simple methodology to this end.
Project Team• Multi-disciplinary• Began October 2011• Based within the Archaeological Computing Research Group http://acrg.soton.ac.uk/• Funded by Digital Humanities, University of Southampton http://dh.soton.ac.uk/
Study Region• Low population density• High risk levels due to coastal location• Diverse architecture and monuments• Much interest from local history groups• High levels of international interest in the region
Opportunities• Community interest• Global interest• New technology• The Web as catalyst
Open Approaches• Open Source• Open Practice• Open Access• Open Data
Investigating using Open Source• RTI Builder & Viewer• Photogrammetry• GPS Surveying
Focus on RTI• Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) as the focus for the project• Dynamically manipulate the light source of a 2D image• Allows for enhancement of surface shape and colour mathematically RTI of a headstone. Above: Standard photograph. Below: RTI with specular enhancement
How it works• Each project is community led• Based on assistance• Diverse technical response• Methodology is flexible and responsive.
Investigating using Open Practice• Co-operative working practices• Decentralisation of support• Open to all kinds of collaborations
Differing Requirements, Differing Contributions• Lifelong learning• Artefact conservation• Digital repatriation• Fundraising for sites• Personal historical research• Collective / community archaeological / historical research• Advancement of knowledge• Dissemination of knowledge
Investigating using Open Access• Project wiki• Theoretical & technical publication: – Raw data publication – Research results publication
Investigating using Open Access• A reusable methodology for recording graveyards using freely available and low cost technologies• Technical guidance notes for the use of a variety of technology solutions• Data management and dissemination guidelines.
Investigating using Open Data• Releasing data as open• Providing guidance for data creation and reuse• Considering licenses• Using other open datasets Open Plaques, uses OpenStreetMap (MapQuest)
Open Data for Crowdsourcing• General public analysis of data• Additional data entry
So Far…• 6 churches• 9 organisations• 150 RTIs• 5 community open days• 12 workshops• Other public engagement events
Next Steps• More churches• More groups; a wider variety of groups• Emphasis on extending training• Expanding to incorporate other needs• Formal partnership agreement• Develop online dissemination strategy• Data repositories (archiving)• Handbooks for use (OERs)• Interface for crowdsourcing analysis of data
With thanks to: Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery The Branscombe Project All photographs author’s own. Released on Flickr.com under Creative Commons ShareAlike license.