And so it begins …

This year, Lloyd’s Register Foundation have given the go ahead to begin exploring the expansive world of digitisation for the Heritage and Education Centre Archives. They have recruited both myself (Charlotte Atkinson) and Sean Clemenson to drive the project under the guidance of our colleagues in the Heritage and Education Centre. This ambitious plan intends to develop a digital resource for the Ship Annals that are held here and Lloyd Register Foundation’s documents loaned to the National Maritime Museum. Although this year is only a trial period to develop the system with which to digitise more of the collection, in total there are about 65,500 individual records, with multiple items in each!

The project opens up an exciting new world with a bewildering number of different possible routes and this first year of development will be mainly exploration of the various options available with a preliminary list of first and famous ships. We decided to begin with digitising these because they are of the most value to the department, academics and the public.

The project intends to open up resources to the public and scholarly community, increase access and awareness, as well as promoting education and an understanding of risk. The technical issues are also being discussed at the moment and we plan to make decisions on the workflow manager and procedures, choice of cataloguing software, logged data, online resource, digitising method and company, crowdsourcing and public involvement.

This blog will be used to note our progress over the next year and allow full transparency in our decisions so that you can be involved. This is an exciting journey to be on and we are all looking forward to it!

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