November 27, 2015, by Matt Davies
Life lines and Sewing World: DHC gets a mention in two publications in one week!
Life Lines book launch.
On Wednesday 18th November I was pleased to attend the launch event for the Life Lines book at Nottingham Archives. This handsome and fascinating book brings together the individual research and discoveries of Life Lines; a group of Nottinghamshire amateur historians with a special interest in World War One. The book is full of interesting stories, documents and artifacts that help to explain what happened to their ancestors and local Nottinghamshire residents during the conflict. More information about the project and an e-version of the book can be found here.
The Digital Humanities Centre’s involvement with the group began back in July 2014 when I enjoyed a fascinating day running a digitisation workshop in the DHC for the group (see Digital Dialogues, Oct ’14). During the workshop we used scanners of all sizes, the copy stand, digital SLR camera, and Photoshop to produce digital versions of the personal artifacts which members had brought along. These included photographs, personal effects and the letters of relatives who had been involved in the conflict, but also collected ephemera like embroidered postcards sent to and from soldiers serving at the front. Many of the digital images that we produced during the workshop have been used in the subsequent book, along with the extensive research produced by the members, and information about the group itself.
Following speeches (and some very nice cake!) a copy of the book was presented to a representative of the Nottingham Archives and then we were all given a tour of their impressive new facilities at Castle Meadow- if you get the chance to visit the archives I strongly advise you do so! (details of how you might do that can be found here). A copy of the book was also presented to DHC by Dave Wilkinson of the Life Lines group and Charlotte Pratley of Culture Syndicates who had organised the project. The book will be kept at the Centre and made available to researchers and anyone with an interest in Nottinghamshire history or indeed of what can be achieved by fusing digital technology and good old fashioned research!
It was double publication whammy of a day for DHC as I also discovered, whilst browsing through WH Smith, the very edition of Sewing World that DHC has a mention in! I must confess that my knowledge and experience of this particular publication are fairly low, and when project partner Debbie Bryan had tweeted that the Hearts of Heritage project (see Digital Dialogues, April ’15) the DHC and the DHC Volunteers are mentioned in it I had presumed it was a local magazine. As such I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have potentially reached the attention of the national -maybe even International- sewing community! Suffice to say the magazine is now also a valued part of DHC’s growing archive.