Heritage Lottery All Our Stories Project

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Final Report For All Our Stories Heritage Lottery Fund Looking Up Project Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Final Report All Our Stories, Heritage Lottery Fund

Looking Up Project by the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society.

Launched in November 2012 the Looking Up Project identified and recruited a group of young women in Wolverhampton. The Looking Up Project set out with three main aims, the first was to digitally map the commemorative blue plaques in Wolverhampton, to ultimately develop a mobile-phoneapplication (Phone-App) to enable visitors to the city of Wolverhampton to have a guided tour of the City’s blue plaques (via their mobile phone - Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society currently have over 90 commemorative blue plaques). Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Dr Ina Lochhead McNeill

The second aspect of The Looking Up Project researched some of the people involved at Wolverhampton Hospital for Woman circa 1902. The third element of the Looking Up Project explored the archives and other records for plans and details of the buildings of the Wolverhampton Hospital for Women (to enable a digital reconstruction - the original buildings have been demolished).

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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The Looking Up Project’s first step was to create a Phone-App; as such we had to travel over to meet up with the team at De Montford University in Leicester; working with them in planning the framework for the database that would support the PhoneApp. This element involved several visits with the Phone-App team in order to discuss all the precise details: from the logo design and lay out, to learning how the database-like framework forms the basic building blocks of the Phone-App

Working with the Phone-App team at De Montford University

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Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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The next step for the Looking Up Project was to set about collecting information to go into the Phone-App; this involved learning how to do the initial mapping out – geo-locative identifiers - on computer of where the locations of each commemorative blue plaques in Wolverhampton is actually located.

Geo-locative identifiers for Wolverhampton Commemorative Blue Plaques plotted on Google maps

Once each location was digitally identified, each plaque required additional information so as to give an informative entry on the Phone-App: providing details such as precise location, directions to it, information about the subject of the plaque, and identifying Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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additional images and research information for each entry/plaque in the database.

This could include, for example, a Wikipedia entry link (where one exists). This would be particularly true for notable individuals but some plaque are for a factory or the like and, as such, they do not all have a Wikipedia pages. Consequently, the database structure had to be carefully planned from the start to enable every thing to display on the Phone-App correctly, appropriately and stylistically.

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Group from Wolverhampton Girls High School attending ‘How to use the archive training’.

Another aspect of the Looking Up Project was a focus on the participants; as such, an introduction to local history research session was created and delivered. Thus, the group attended a 'How to use the Archive Training Session'; a training event hosted by the Wolverhampton Archive for the new group of young women (project participants). The workshop explored how to do use the archive and how do local history research; thereby enabling them to explore the archives themselves and make a start on the research. The workshop was a hands-on, heritage engagement, experience of archive work which made for a fascinating day enjoyed by all. There were also other opportunities for the group to explore other archives and places of research and gain skills on how to research on the internet.

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Guided tour group visit The Weeping Chapel

The culmination of all these different project activities was on the ‘National Heritage Open Days’ week in September 2013: our event, the Looking Up Project event, was a celebration of the identified pioneering women in the Wolverhampton’s medical history.

This Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society / Looking Up event included: a guided tour; hospital site visit; an exhibition; and the unveiling of two new Commemorative Blue Plaques to the two identified key women in the history of medicine in Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton’s first women doctors.

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Plaque unveiling event

The Plaque unveiled were for Ina Lockhead McNeill and Madge Spiers Maclean. Ina and Madge were the first women doctors in Wolverhampton: they came to work in Wolverhampton in 1902 having qualified at Glasgow University. The project’s volunteer researchers managed to trace and contact 6 members of Ina Lochhead’s family, who travelled up to attend these events with about 30 others, to celebrate the Looking Up Project.

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Group at Heritage Open Days event

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society has established links with Wolverhampton Archive; a link that enabled the Looking Up Project to foster further links with the Local Authority. This was particularly true in our relationship with the Wolverhampton City Council planning department in order to identify original plans and documents relating to the building of the original Wolverhampton Hospital for Women.

Equally, this developed relationship / partnership gave the project access to their equipment to facilitate our intention for the plans to be digitised in order to enable the digital reconstruction of the hospital buildings in its original state. Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Wolverhampton Hospital for Women 1904

This research enabled the Digital-Build team at De Montford University to create a digitally built virtual model of the hospital (the hospital has now been demolished and replaced by a new build medical institution).

The digital reconstruction, made by De Montfort University, is now viewable online as both a collection of still images and in a short, rotating, animation.

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In addition, the computer files created for the digital-build were utilized to make a 3D print which is an actual physical model of Wolverhampton Hospital for Woman (an innovative 3D Print model that has proved very popular when on display as part of our exhibits at Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society events this year (it is often the first time most people have seen a 3D Print of anything using ‘the new thing we keep hearing about on the news’!). It has been an exciting time for all concerned using new technologies to explore heritage in a new and exciting way we would hope to continue to explore

. Local History Fair at the Archives with Wolverhampton Mayor Malkinder Jaspal Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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The Looking Up Project’s participants have learned how to share this digital heritage, through many different channels: talking and linking with each other as a group; disseminating the work to the wider-public at Local Heritage events; using social media; and are seeking to continue to work together on a future project (which, hopefully, Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society will develop in the future). The Looking Up team have been approached by the Heritage Lottery Fund to give advice to another local history group doing similar a project.

The Looking Up Project, has enabled us to learn how to create and share images on line, share research and experiences on the internet through Facebook and other social media (Twitter et al). Participants have enjoyed exhibiting the 3D print model of the Wolverhampton Hospital for Woman at events and participated in guided walks. The Looking Up Project has fully utilised these opportunities to engage with local people about their heritage whilst also promoting pride in Wolverhampton and its people and their history.

Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, and its initiative called All Our Stories for giving us this opportunity. We feel that Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society have created a valuable piece of digital heritage for many to enjoy through the Looking Up Project that will have clearly identifiable benefits for the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society for years to come (even if one just considers the ability to track how many times each Mobile Phone App (Apple and Android is downloaded). Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society, working in partnership with De Montfort University (nominated as the All Our Stories grantee by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to create the Looking Up Project, would also like to thank De Montfort University for their work, patience and expertise in enabling us to deliver a project which would otherwise have been outside of our own skill-set and abilities.

Heritage Open Days Event September 2013

The Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society extend it’s thanks to everyone involved in the Looking Up Project. Particular thanks to the young woman who participated in this project and the pupils from Wolverhampton Girls High School. In addition we thank Wolverhampton Archive and Wolverhampton City Council for their support in this project. Our thanks also for the help and support we received from the hospital management and staff of West Park Rehabilitation Hospital (now on the site of the Wolverhampton Hospital for Women) for making Looking Up events such a success. Finally Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society thank their own volunteers and Roy Stallard for his knowledge and enthusiasm that has been a lifetime’s work. Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society

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