TownsWeb Archiving recently had the pleasure of working once again with Lymm Heritage Centre on the upgrade of their PastView website. Established as a group in 2015, with the primary purpose of establishing a physical heritage base within the local area, Lymm Heritage Centre quickly concluded that to make Lymm’s heritage globally accessible they would need to create an archive. Many small to medium-sized, local heritage organisations will likely recognise this journey themselves.
When Pelé came to stay
Lymm’s digital archive is a veritable chocolate box. Visitors can find anything from colourisation work, specific photographer collections, adverts and articles, aerial views and maps, to education, public services, sports and leisure, streets, trades and industry,
traditions and events, and transport. And even more besides! There is definitely something for everyone, and a major story unfolded when a collection of photographs of Pelé and his Brazil teammates dating back to the team’s stay for the 1966 World Cup was discovered in 2015.
The upgrade to PastView has seen a number of benefits for Lymm Heritage. With such a
diverse audience, it was important to them that visitors could still access their material
even if English was not their first language. The ability to expand images and interact
easily removed any unnecessary barriers making for a more inclusive software. Lymm’s online digital archive is also accessible via a kiosk situated within the centre so a lack of IT equipment, IT skills, or internet access is still no barrier for those who want to research their local heritage.
The archive is also proving very important for education and the move to online access has contributed toward this. Lymm Heritage Centre are able to support local schools in topics such as the importance of rivers and canals in establishing settlements, complementing learning with images of mills, corn mills, canal boat navigation, and Packet boats, all of which are just ready and waiting to inspire young minds to think about how their own history and community have evolved over time.
In addition, PastView has enabled a real push in terms of community engagement with
Lymm Heritage Centre making connections with the likes of The Manchester Ship Canal and Historic England. They have also used their archive to reach out to residential care homes where historic images have proved invaluable in sparking stimulating conversations.
There are aspirations to continue growing the online archive by adding content over time, which is incredibly straightforward with PastView. Lymm Heritage Centre are proactively talking to local groups and organisations and their social media communities, encouraging and welcoming photographs and items contained within private collections.
Lymm Heritage Centre might be small, but they have proved to be technically savvy and keen to connect with their audiences in a variety of ways. They have visions for a published flipbook that can be sold through their online shop, and they are also looking to make 3D objects accessible too, which can be achieved through 360 scanning, and enabled through PastView’s Object Viewer. Their intention is to grow their collections and audiences in order to benefit wider communities, and they are hopeful that smaller, local archive holders, will recognise the Lymm Archive as the ideal repository for their own documents and photographs.
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