Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Technological Cutting Edge: Virtual Volunteering for Shropshire’s Heritage

Virtual volunteering may sound incredibly futuristic, however, it is happening globally and anyone, (with a computer and internet access), can be involved.

Shropshire Archives and Discovering Shropshire’s History partners have now got their own piece of the action. The new website, www.heritageheroes.org.uk, is being launched tomorrow at Discover Shropshire Day at the Shirehall, Shrewsbury. This sees Shropshire staking its place firmly at the forefront of technological and virtual advancement. The Shropshire’s Heritage Heroes website contains details of archives and local studies material, physical artefacts, works of art, technological items, handicrafts, details of archaeological sites, buildings and finds from digs and information on partners such as history societies. This project is leading the way in volunteering, as the ‘virtual volunteers’, from their own homes, do not just obtain the opportunity to enhance records held at the Shropshire Archives and partner organisations, but what they submit, after being moderated, is then returned back into the archives and museums catalogue databases. This is a first that we know of in this country.

The project was started back in 2013, with the appointment of a Project Manager, Alison Pritchard, and a Volunteer Coordinator, Emily Nicklin. Having been in post now for nine months, the project has taken lots of twists and turns and uncovered some very exciting items, from Victorian postcards with a naughty hidden secret, to a late 17th early 18th century recipe and remedy book.

If you are unable to physically visit a museum or archive centre to volunteer, for whatever reason, then this is the project for you. You will have a variety of tasks to choose from including spelling and grammar checking, linking data, transcribing documents, indexing and taking part in more in-depth research. Projects will be visible on the home page and will change and alter once completed, so we ask you to be patient and see what interesting things come up!

We hope to attract a variety of ‘virtual volunteers’ ranging in skills, ages, geographical locations and motivations, we hope that this project will enable the sharing of expertise regarding the collections and create its very own online hub community between its ‘virtual volunteers’ and archive and museum professionals.

So if you think this is something of interest, then please follow the link, www.heritageheroes.org.uk, register and go grab a project that you fancy.

Please watch this space ….

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Discover Shropshire Day

Medieval dance workshop at the last 'Discover Shropshire Day' in October 2012

Medieval dance workshop at the last ‘Discover Shropshire Day’ in October 2012

We’re in the last couple of weeks or so before ‘Discover Shropshire Day’, coming up at Shirehall in Shrewsbury on Saturday 26th April 10.30am – 4pm. It’s shaping up to be a really good day. Speakers include:
Stuart Dunn – SHREWSBURY TOWN FC: REFLECTIONS AND ANECDOTES
Peter Francis – THE WAR MEMORIALS OF SHROPSHIRE
John Stretton – THE GREAT WAR AND ALBRIGHTON
Sarah Knight – FULKE GREVILLE, ELIZABETHAN EDUCATION AND SHREWSBURY
Emma Hankinson – THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SHROPSHIRE PEATLANDS
Richard Bifield – THE FRIENDS OF IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM TRUST
Richard Bifield – THE SHROPSHIRE HISTORIC CHURCHES TRUST

There will be the launch of the Shropshire pages on http://www.findmypast.co.uk and also of Shropshire’s ‘Heritage Heroes’, the Arts Council funded ‘virtual volunteering’ project. There’ll be some short films showing, including ‘We Made our Town’, the film produced by the Telford based ‘We Made Our Town’ project, relating the stories of people who came to live in the town due to the New Town development. There’ll be music from Professor Squeezyjig and, as if all that weren’t enough, there will be advice, information and displays from the following organisations:

Shropshire Archaeology and the Historic Environment Record
Telford & Wrekin Libraries
Shropshire Libraries
Shropshire Archives
Oswestry Town Archives
Oswestry Town Museum
Shropshire Parks and Garden Trust
Albrighton & District Historical Society
All Stretton History Group
Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust
Oswestry Family & Local History Group
Churches Conservation Trust
Whitchurch History & Archaeology Group
Claverley Memories
Shrewsbury Port Canal Trust
Lydbury North Field Group
Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings

If you like Shropshire, you’ll love ‘Discover Shropshire Day’! Admission is FREE and there’s no need to book.

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