The Passenger Pigeon Manifesto is a call for cultural institutions to open their digital archives for free use by the public. You can see the manifesto in the link below.
It would mean a loss of income from copyright for organisations who are already short of money but on the other hand it would help greatly increase access to our cultural heritage, and, it would help preserve these items, at least digitally, into the long distance future.
So, to my mind, a good thing. I’m trying to find out how to sign up.
Please note it is not asking for low quality reproduction but the high definition copies.
This virtual walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, who has an interest both in the archaeological evidence as well as the myths and legends of London’s origin.
A Walk for London Walks.
Archaeology in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries has revolutionised our view of the early history of London while its rich set of myths and legends have been largely forgotten. This walk is designed to set that right and give an insight into London’s legends, and how they relate to modern archaeological discoveries.
According to legend London was founded in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. He called the new City Troia Nova or New Troy, which became corrupted to Trinovantum. Around the time of Julius Caesar the name changed to Lud’s Dun and eventually to Londinium. Early archaeologists therefore looked for a prehistoric City, to add to the history they could read by classical authors of a City founded shortly after the Roman Invasion of 43 AD. When the Roman system broke down in 410 AD, historical and archaeological records become almost non-existent, until the foundation of St Pauls Cathedral in 604 AD. The two hundred year gap, sometimes called the Dark Ages, has another rich selection of legends. The walk will explore these stories and compare to the archaeology.
The route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River at Billingsgate, along the River to London Bridge, up to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up in the shadow of St Pauls.
This is a London Walks Guided Walks. Look at their web site for a list of more of their amazing walks
An email from the British Library exhorting me to:
So I did. And what did I find?
A dullish page, but with hopefully many delights hidden in the links.
I began with an exploration of the architecture, which was just a bit of text with a few images. And, much to my delight a whopping typo when referring to the wrong Gilbert Scott as inspiration to the architect, Colin St John Wilson. 4 out of 10, I fear.
I then took a safe bet to look at the Virtual Books. I have long admired the ability to look through the books in the Treasures Gallery in digital form – mostly looking at the Lindisfarne Gospel, Leonardo Da Vinca, and Alice. So, I clicked the link, to another surprisingly dull page with only 6 books to excite. But I knew there must be more, and to the top right was a link to ‘View All‘. Clicking this revealed some of the wonders of the world of books; from a Ethiopian Bible, to Lewis Carroll’s handwritten Alice’s Adventures Underground to works by Jane Austen. Each one in blazing colour and which the visitor can zoom in on and thumb through.
Beautiful and I chose a Psalter that is annotated by Henry VIII’s himself. Wow!
Why, I wonder, do the British Library make so little of it? I only got to it as i knew that had it. Most would pass by.
This gets a 10 out of 10 for awe-inspiring content, and a 3 for hiding its light under a bushel.
Next, I was excited to see a exhortation to ‘Visit an Online Exhibition.‘ This was what I had come here for. Really, excited. When I got there, there were 44! I was really looking forward to this.
But they were not exhibitions, they were a series of articles and blog posts. All very interesting, and all illustrated with lots of images of beautiful objects. But in no-way an online exhibition.
So very disappointed.
Overall, the British Library web site has some absolutely marvellous stuff. But its not really digital, its just online. There is no feeling of a digital experience, digital content yes, a digital experience. no.
It should be a 10 out of 10, and it is for content but for a digital experience, I’m hard pressed to give it a 6.
I have been putting off this moment for a long time. I maintained my old site using DreamWeaver but with the advent of responsive webs site and smart phones it was feeling its age.
The problem was (is) that the transfer from a technology which you are at home with to one that is new represents a colossal investment in time. The major block was how to load WordPress onto my webhost. I have delayed it and delayed it. Then a few months ago I found out it was easy. Didn’t do much on the new web site but came to the conclusion it wasn’t too difficult. This weekend I noticed how out of date my old web site was, and without any planning I bit the bullet, and this is, so far, the fruits of a weekend.
Here is a link to the And Did Those Feet Heritage Blog.