November 11, 2014, by Matt Davies
DHC Personnel and Projects 2014-15
There is a lot going on in DHC at the moment and now that the new Research Associate and Student Volunteer team are in place, and the projects well underway, I thought it time to provide an update.
History Post Graduate Harriet Davis is this year’s DHC’s Research Associate. Previously the role primarily comprised operating the A0 equipment but this year it has been broadened considerably. Besides responsibility for the A0 printer and scanner, Harriet also assists DHC users, keeps equipment and software up to date, holds the fort in my absence, and helps supervise the student volunteers. Currently she is supervising the Marketing team and has also taken a role in the ‘Heart of Heritage’ project, see details of all below.
In the ‘welcome to the DHC blog’ in May of this year, I mentioned the DHC’s Student Volunteer Scheme and a little about what they do. This year’s team- Eleri, Emerald, Kelly, Rachael, Emily, Vicky, Alice and Larissa -is firmly in place, the initial training has been done and the famous multi coloured DHC shirts are on order! The training undertaken with me or Harriet in their first weeks equips them with the basic skills that they require to help users of the Centre to find their way around the equipment and software. The volunteers can now be found working weekly shifts in the DHC where they are on hand to help users and also to work on this year’s projects. By the end of their time volunteering, they will have greatly enhanced their digital skills along with a host of other ‘soft’ skills –customer service, team work, time management and communication to name a few. Debra Henson of the University’s Careers and Employability Service runs sessions with them demonstrating how they can capitalise on all of these skills to enhance their CVs and future employment opportunities.
The 2014-15 volunteers have thrown themselves into the projects on offer with gusto and rightly so as this years are particularly exciting.
The Heart of Heritage project.
Local craftsperson/entrepreneur Debbie Bryan owns a craft centre in Nottingham’s Lace Market. Over the years she has accumulated a substantial and fascinating collection of artefacts related to the lace industry for which Nottingham was once famous. She and her marketing officer Katie brought a selection of them to the DHC a couple of weeks ago. Volunteers Kelly, Emerald and Eleri along with Harriet have each chosen an artefact and will digitise it –using cameras, copy stand, A0, A3 or transparency scanners- and research the history, manufacture and original purpose of the items. I will supervise the digitisation of the objects and Debbie and Katie (and any historians we can rope in!) will oversee the research and publish information on the objects via blogs, twitter and facebook. The resulting images and associated information will be used for marketing for the shop, but also as permanent records of the pieces and their place in the context of the local history. There are also plans for exhibitions and an event at the Heritage Open Day event in September 2015. The team will meet with Debbie and Katy regularly here in DHC and at the shop where I believe cake may be involved!
Anniversaries through Coins project.
Long time DHC associate, Classics Postgraduate and numismatist William Leveritt is working with a team of DHC volunteers to digitise a collection of ancient coins. The resultant images can be found on the Classics department’s ‘Argonauts and Emperors’ blog as part of the ‘Anniversaries through Coins’ project which marks ancient anniversaries with images of coins from the era. Kelly and Alice are working on this one and as well as the digitisation they will be involved with the research and writing of the blogs.
Arts Event video production.
DHC’s Leonardo Fellow and Artist in Residence James E Smith has been working with volunteers Rachael and Vicky to produce a film of the Lakeside’s recent Night Photography Symposium. The three of them filmed the event which was held on Saturday 18th October using multiple camera angles. This event was associated with Lakeside’s ‘And Now it’s Dark’ exhibition which was curated by the History of Art Department’s Dr Mark Rawlinson; many of the talks were given by the artists exhibiting. The film crew’s next task is to synchronise the footage and edit it which they will do using DHC’s software; the resulting film will be posted online.
The Marketing Team.
Harriet, Larissa and Emily are the DHC Marketing team and are working on a number of projects. In the much misunderstood (or simply not understood!) DHC itself, they have the perfect customer. Recently this Marketing Team met with the School of Humanities Marketing Team which offered them advice and support on how to produce marketing material whilst adhering to the Universities branding guidelines. So now the DHC marketing team have the professional know-how to bring to their work on posters, pamphlets, upgrading the DHC’s website and running our social media. They will also be helping out at Open Days and organising events and have been tasked with coming up with some fun and creative activities for this year’s University Mayfest. In previous years activities have included retro PC gaming, creating stop-motion animation and our famous ‘Face-on’ activity in which we turned visitors into digital Tudors or Roman statues.
Hopefully the Volunteers will enjoy working on these projects as well as making new friends and professional contacts. The skills and experience that they will gain are invaluable; previous Volunteers have already reaped the benefits and you can read their blogs elsewhere on Digital Dialogues. If you would like to volunteer in the DHC or work on one of the projects, or indeed if you have a suitable project idea, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into DHC and speak to me, Harriet or one of the Volunteers.