Friday, 10 August 2012

Hidden Collections: From Archive to Asset

Hidden Collections: From Archive to Asset
Hidden Collections: From Archive to Asset is an exciting multi-disciplinary programme of workshops and industry projects which will be open to recruitment from Friday 30th August and which will run throughout the 2012-2013 academic year.  Participants will gain valuable skills in project management, communications, networking, collaborative and team working, public engagement, and the use of new methodologies.  They will gain experience in working outside of HE and outside of their disciplines.  
This programme has been funded under the AHRC’s Digital Transformations theme and aims to:
introduce students to methods and approaches in the broad field of archives, collections and datasets from different perspectives (image, object, manuscripts, film, theatre, corpora)
explore the relationships between ‘traditional’ methods of archiving/ collecting and those made possible by new technologies;
offer the opportunity for students to work in small multi-disciplinary teams with an external partner (including Tate, Cambridge University Press, New Perspectives Theatre, The British Film Institute, The British School at Rome, and Nottingham Castle Museum & Gallery) on a public engagement project that will bring an element of the organisation’s collection, archive or dataset to new audiences through an enhanced digital presence.
The focus of the programme is on engaging the public with archives, collections and datasets through digital means and the students will be supported in their work by a technologist.
The programme comprises:
October 2012: a short online introduction to key issues
Written by archivist and PhD student Alex Southern with support from the Manuscripts and Special Collections team at the University of Nottingham, this online orientation package willensure that all participants have an understanding of the key themes and issues that they will encounter as they progress through the programme.  As such, participants do not need prior experience - this module is the only pre-requisite.
October 2012: a day-long introduction:
The introductory day is an opportunity for participants to meet each other and to find out more about the workshops and project elements of the programme.  In addition, the day will cover:
cross-disciplinary/ multi-disciplinary working
public engagement in a digital context
the perpetual archive – key themes and concepts
the setting of professional development goals for the duration of the programme
October 2012 –March 2013: Six workshops
Each workshop will explore methodologies and approaches to collecting, storing and communicating information about collections, archives and datasets through the lens of a discipline area: image, object, manuscripts, corpora, film, and theatre.  The workshops will be led by academics and representatives from the external partner organisation.  The focus will be on the transferability of the methodologies and approaches of each strand to other disciplines.  All students must attend a minimum of three workshops.
March 2013 –August 2013: An industry project
In early March, a residential will take place where the students divide into their project groups to develop an idea for their project.  The sandpits will be co-facilitated by academics and members of the external partner organisations.  The output of the sandpit will be a detailed project brief that the participants will then complete in their teams between March and August.  Details of the preliminary project briefs are available on the blog.
The evening of the residential will include dinner and a keynote talk.  Day two will be an introduction to techniques for digital public engagement, and case studies of existing good practice.
September 2012- – September 2013: Transferrable Skills Training
Most of the skills development is embedded into the workshops and projects.  As part of their induction to the programme, participants will create a personal development plan that will sit alongside any existing professional development training that they are undertaking as part of their PHD programme.  They will also have access to bespoke Sector Skills Toolkits designed for the Hidden Collections project by the Creative & Cultural Skills Council.
This programme is aimed primarily at 2nd Year PhD students in the Arts & Humanities.  There are 30 fully-subsidised places available on this scheme (five per strand).  A participant in this programme will apply by visiting  Their application will be assessed by a panel of academics and industry partners and they will be notified by 3 October.  Participants are expected to attend all workshop elements of the project and to participate fully in the project.  Failure to do so will result in the subsidised place being offered to a student on the waiting list.

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