Digital collections projects
Programmes like REACT give university’s researchers a key to unlock the potential in RAMM’s collections. REACT and HEFCE funding allowed RAMM to complete two digital collections projects with the university. It also funded two collaborative PhDs.
Digital collections projects – Moor Stories
Moor Stories asks visitors to Dartmoor to write their own Moor Story. It seeks to link the museum’s collections from Dartmoor with their original locations and modern communities using digital media. The Moor Stories website includes videos, a schools learning pack and a resources pack to inspire all writers.
Moor Stories was a project funded by the REACT Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy. REACT is a collaboration led by UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England), Watershed and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
In partnership with the University of Exeter and 1010 Media RAMM secured funding from the HEFCE Open Innovation Fund in April 2012. Additional funding from REACT in January 2013 enabled further research and development to create the current website. The project centred on the research and development of a location-based website. That would encourage users to explore Dartmoor through museum collections and respond by creating and sharing their story via the website.
One of the challenges for 1010 Media was to create a site that works with variable mobile signal strength on Dartmoor. This side of the project offered wider insights into extending the digital economy to rural settings.
Project staff involved included: Rick Lawrence, RAMM’s Digital Media Officer; Tom Cadbury, RAMM Antiquities Curator; Helen Burbage, RAMM Collections and Audiences Assistant; Professor Gabriella Giannachi, University of Exeter; Will Barrett, collaborative PhD student; Andy Chapman, 1010 Media.The project’s progress is recorded on the project blog.
The project received support from Jane Marchand, Andy Crabb, Keith McKay and Mike Nendick from Dartmoor National Park Authority. Peter Mason of the Lustleigh Archive and Bill Hardiman of the Moretonhampstead Local History Society.
Jo Reid of Calvium and Julian Vayne Museum Consultant provided essential help with engagement and creating website resources.
Digital collections projects – Time Trails
The Time Trails project ran in 2013 funded by the HEFCE HEIF Open Innovation Fund.
The primary aim of the project was to develop a Time Trails web-app prototype. This would allow visitors to follow, comment and share trails around the museum, Exeter and Devon. The work used RAMM’s existing tours website and Exeter Time Trail website
A new partnership was set up with Exeter City Football Club Supporters Trust (ECFCST) as part of the project. This tested the tool in a new context and facilitated dissemination of the research through ECFCST social media sites. They also provided external testing with members of ECFCST in September and children in their Kick Start Programme in October 2013.
Schools involvement and additional trails
The project’s research and development process also consulted with two schools (St Sidwell’s and St David’s). Related research on trajectories through user experiences (Benford and Giannachi 2011) helped design a set of trails through Exeter.
This included a Second World War trail and two Exeter City Football Club trails (one for the general public and one for the children taking part in the Football in the Community Kick Start programme). Since the end of the project additional trails were added including a Tudor trail to link with the West Country to World’s End exhibition 2013-14.
Impact and dissemination
Dissemination of the research by Professor Gabriella Giannachi took place at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2013, Orlando Florida (1-4 August 2013). Then through a keynote address at Performing Documentation in the Conservation of Contemporary Art, Lisbon (20-21 June 2013). Giannachi prepared a journal article for the Brazilian journal Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença.