Historic Environment Image Resource

16-05-2014 by Administrator

The Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, has been awarded a grant to participate in the AHRC/British Academy supported 'Being Human Festival of the Humanities' 2014. Dr Katharina Ulmschneider and Dr Sally Crawford, Directors of the Historic Environment Image Resource (HEIR), will stage a number of events to showcase HEIR. 

‘The shock of the old’: Oxford’s Victorian lantern slides to go on show to public

Interactive events will form part of ‘Being Human’ humanities festival

The University of Oxford is to host a series of interactive public events as part of Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities. Making use of the University’s unique collection of late 19th and early 20th-century teaching lantern slides, the events will include a week-long exhibition, a workshop, a citizen science ‘tagathon’, and an authentic Victorian lantern slide performance. The events, known together as ‘The shock of the old: glass plate negatives and photographs of late 19th century England’, have been made possible by a grant from the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

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Following a successful application, the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxfordhas been awarded funding to hold the events during Being Human festival week, 15–23 November 2014. The events will champion the excellence of the humanities research being undertaken in Oxford and help demonstrate the vitality and relevance of this today. They will be organised and produced by the Historic Environment Image Resource, based in the University’s School of Archaeology.

Selected from over 100 applications,the grant will help the University bring together researchers and the local public to engage with their own interpretation of the humanities. The events will be part of a national programme of activities which aim to inform, extend and ignite contemporary thinking and imagination around the humanities. 

Dr Sally Crawford, Co-Director of the Historic Environment Image Resource, said: “From the late 19th century onwards, the University of Oxford amassed tens of thousands of lantern and glass slide photographs. By the Second World War, lantern slides were obsolete and the photographic images they contained were forgotten. Now rediscovered, digitized and available to the public for the first time, they form an exceptional visual record of people, places and events from the last century.”

Although full details of the events are still to be confirmed, the free public exhibition will be held in a University museum and will feature life-size panels – startling in their detail – highlighting everyday life in Victorian times. The authentic Victorian lecture performance, based on an original 1880s travel series, will recreate a sense of the original excitement and wonder of pre-cinema lantern slide shows by taking the modern audience on a trip through the past, from London to Constantinople, with live musical accompaniment.

The citizen science project will take the form of a ‘tagathon’ in which volunteers around the world can help enhance the lantern slide resource by tagging the contents of images and using web resources to locate and identify mystery images. The workshop, meanwhile, will be hosted by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and will bring together leading international academics and collaborators to explore ways of exploiting this innovative collection.  

Dr Katharina Ulmschneider, Co-Director of the Historic Environment Image Resource, added: “The aims of the series are to showcase the intrinsic potential of these images for helping humanities researchers answer questions about the human experience, and to engage the public in helping us turn these images into a research resource by tagging and locating the sites.”

Currently in its first year, Being Human is led by the School of Advanced Study in participation with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy with the participation of arts and cultural organisations and universities across the UK.

The festival programme will focus on activities that make humanities research accessible to the general public and demonstrate the role of the humanities in the cultural, intellectual, political and social life of the UK.

Thirty-six grants have been awarded to universities and arts and cultural organisations across the UK to participate in the nine days of festival events taking place across the UK, from Truro to Orkney, Swansea to Belfast and Norwich to Liverpool.

For further information please visit:

HEIR: http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/HEIR.html
Blog: http://archaeologyarchivesoxford.wordpress.com/blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArchivistArch


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