PhD Scholarship: Promoting, archiving and digitising Welsh heritage to promote and foster heritage tourism.
Annual Stipend: at least £14,198 per year
Application Deadline: Friday 23rd June 2017
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT), have recently invested in a Digital Asset Management System (Thirdlight), a state-of-the-art server system for maintaining multimedia assets. This server has allowed them to collect, document, organise and archive assets documenting archaeological sites and artefacts located across North Wales. The digital collection held within Thirdlight forms part of the Trusts Historic Environment Record, which serves a wide range of research and curatorial functions on behalf of central and local government, academic institutions and members of the public. This record is one of the most authoritative in Wales and fulfils the Statutory requirements of the Welsh Ministers to maintain a national historical environment record. GAT’s goal is now to capitalise on the value inherent in this resource through the use of web- and location-based applications produced by themselves, their partners, and interested third parties who might wish to license access to the material in the archive. Potential applications include (but are not limited to) location-based augmented realities, interactive virtual reality museum exhibits, and online guides to heritage sites.
This research will establish good practice for maximising the potential of these resources while minimising the risks (legal, organisation, educational, political) inherent in their use, and will develop a proof-of-concept application to test those practices. The project will take an action research approach in its investigation in three phases.
During phase 1, an initial survey of current practice within the heritage sector will include both multimedia archives and digital heritage tourism/educational applications currently in use. Influential actors from the survey will be identified for in-depth interviews into the risks and opportunities inherent in the field. The result of this phase will be a draft report summarising good practices, risks and opportunities. In Phase 2, the report will be presented to GAT and other heritage sector actors in Wales. Follow-up interviews will be conducted and the report revised based on their input. A conceptual design for a location- or web-based application which can draw content from the archive will be developed from the report and from the interviews. An iterative design process will allow Welsh heritage stake-holders to inform the design and proposed implementation of the application. The third phase of the project will be to build, test and deploy the heritage application. The final phase of the project will be to recommend a digital communications strategy for promoting, disseminating, and archiving digital material relating to the historic environment in North Wales.
This methodology will account for currently accepted practices within digital marketing, archiving and promoting wider participation in digital heritage, whilst also evaluating the methods for their suitability within the context of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT).
The specific output of the project will be:
- Report into current and recommended practice of using heritage-led digital media to raise the profile of the historic environment and organisations working within it
- A conceptual design for a location- or web-based heritage application which draws together the different strands of digital data maintained by the Trust, and develops a strategy for maximising its use and output
- A working prototype of the application ready for live trialling
- Recommendation for a digital communications strategy to promote, disseminate and archive digital material related to the historic environment in Wales
Applicants should hold a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in related discipline areas.
How to Apply
Please submit a CV together with a covering letter to Dr Steffan Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to Dr Penny Dowdney: email@example.com by 17:00 on Friday 23rd June 2017.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.