6th September 2018
‘Heritage dot’, Lincoln’s inaugural digital heritage conference will take place next summer from 3rd to 4th June 2019.
Leading figures from the arts and cultural heritage sectors gathered in Lincoln to celebrate the launch of the Heritage Dot which is co-hosted with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Imperial War Museums.
Diane Lees, IWM Director-General, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Heritage Dot conference with the University of Lincoln and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The conference is an opportunity to highlight how we can work in partnership to explore new and innovative ways of preserving our cultural heritage for future generations.”
An official European Year of Culture Heritage event, the launch also highlighted digital cultural heritage achievements at the University of Lincoln.
An inspiring Q&A with Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, kicked things off as he discussed the opportunities and challenges that digital offers across the creative and heritage sectors. Challenges for the future, he explained, involved harnessing technological advances and providing opportunities for developing the right digital skills.
Also revealed on the night was the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) Digital Archive – a major new resource on the bombing war in Europe which was supported by the University and HLF. Nicky Barr, IBBC Director, introduced the digital archive and a demo showcased the impressive searchability of the resource.
In a moving and symbolic gesture, Prof Heather Hughes, Head of the IBCC Digital Archive, accepted a donation of letters from Frances Zagni. Frances had used the letters as source material for the book Geprüft, a story of her parents’ experiences during the Second World War including her father’s internment as a POW.
The keynote address was delivered by Prof Monika Hagedorn-Saupe from the Institut für Museumsforschung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and VP of Europeana. Monika explored the role of digital platforms, such as Europeana, an online hub aggregating and sharing the richness and diversity of cultural heritage across the EU.
A thought-provoking glimpse of the conference to come was provided by a panel including Eilish McGuinness, Director of Operations at HLF. Highlighting the importance of strong partnerships, she said: “Digital technology is central to so many aspects of our personal and professional lives, and the heritage sector is no different. This conference represents an exciting opportunity for institutions to come together, and learn from and inspire each other.”
The evening culminated in the official launch of the Heritage Dot website and call for participation. Sukhy Johal MBE, Director of the University’s Centre of Culture and Creativity shared his aspirations for the first edition of the conference. ‘Joining the dots: Partnerships, Participation and Platforms’ will foreground the importance of collaborative working and access, bringing together a diversity of people interested in heritage to talk about the challenges, opportunities and solutions posed by digital technology.
The conference involves partners from across the region, including Media Archive for Central England, Museums Development East Midlands, Lincolnshire Heritage Forum, History UK and Lincolnshire County Council.