The end of the project, but use of the Manufacturing Pasts collections is only beginning

I can hardly believe we have reached the end of the project.  I have just uploaded the last of the primary digitised materials (of which we have over 300), and the 58th and final learning resource (Terese has somewhat surpassed her initial estimate of 10 resources per theme!!) to the MyLeicestershire History website.

We have 17 different types of source material, from the normal (photographs, newspaper articles, maps) to the slightly more obscure (company building plans, and a few leaflets and an e-mail).

 Benjamin_Russell__Sons_Ltd_photograph_of_factory_c1960

The learning resources use a variety of formats, ranging from powerpoints and pdfs to Prezi’s and those for mobile  applications.  We hope that by providing this diversity it will enable people to engage with more of the resources.

prezi screenshot

The draft final report is almost complete, and will soon be accompanied by a video featuring members of the project team, these will be added to the website in due course.  The flyers have been disseminated, and the banner is about to be stowed away, although not for long…….

We will officially launch the collections at a Heritage Day conference organised jointly by Leicestershire Industrial History Society, The David Wilson Library and the

Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, called Manufacturing: Past, Present and Future, which takes place on the 27th April 2013. 

In addition Terese and I will be running two sessions with local library groups (Leicester Central Library and Belgrave Library) in March, and I do not doubt that other opportunities to go out and talk to people will arise in the next few months.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and resources you are welcome to e-mail us manufactpast@le.ac.uk .  Otherwise, enjoy the materials and resources and feel free to make (non-commercial) use of them.

W36_ThreadCo_1 New_Byford_Factory_Abbey_Lane_Leicester Mawby_and_King_glass_factory_awaiting_demolition_1965

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Communications & Dissemination: JISC workshop 5th October 2012

The main focus of this one day event was advising us on how to get our message to the right people, cutting through the myriad of information they receive on a daily basis.

Rosemary Stamp (Stamp Consulting) stressed a number of key points:

  • Identifying stakeholders (in our case HE academics, local historians)
  • The need to clearly articulate the benefits of our resources to our stakeholders (copyright cleared, permitted reuse, easily searchable and accessible collection)
  • Using a variety of communications channels, best suited to our stakeholders (e-mail, social media, discussion lists, society mailing lists, open mornings)

We watched a YouTube presentation from Nicola Osbourne at Edina on Engaging with Social Media, which talked about using playful or quirky content, something which will grab people’s attention whilst introducing the materials and the background/need for the project.  To some extent we have done this already with our videos of Rebecca Madgin and Simon Gunn, in which they talk about their involvement in the project and why there is a need to make these materials available, but I’d ideally like to create a short 1 minute presentation demonstrating some of our more interesting materials and learning resources, stressing their open and accessible nature.

Bex Whitehead, JISC Press & PR Manager suggested capitalising on national angles wherever possible, so it was very kind of English Heritage to announce their Buildings at Risk Register late last week (see my post Buildings at risk – assessing and preserving Leicester’s heritage).  I intend to keep a keen eye out for any future news items we could potentially tap into (preferably not another old factory on fire, we prefer it when they remain standing and intact). 

A useful day, which helped focus the mind on making the most of our future communications.  Thank you JISC!