07 October 2013

Searching the unsearchable will be presented by Dinah Eastop, Collection Care at The National Archives.

Colour, pattern and texture are all 'content' but are not searchable like written text. This talk discusses how exploiting digital technology to enhance both access and preservation of the image-rich Board of Trade Design Register could open up the records to new users. The collection contains nearly three million designs (of metal, wood, glass, earthenware, wallpaper, carpets and textiles), represented as drawings, prints, tracings, photographs, samples and products, for example straw bonnets. Making images available in different ways, for instance searching and browsing by Discovery, would allow users to view the designs without handling the collection and could engage a new generation who have grown-up in an age of spectacle and online interaction. 

Email research@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk to book a place.

More about the speaker

Dinah works in the Collection Care Department at The National Archives as a Curatorial Research Fellow. Her research focuses on promoting access to and preservation of the Board of Trade Design Register - both the written records of registration and the representations of the registered designs (e.g. drawings, photographs and cloth samples). She worked in textile conservation for more than 30 years, mostly at the UK's Textile Conservation Centre, but also overseas, notably for ICCROM. She has lectured and published widely on textile conservation, conservation principles and material culture studies. She has taken a special interest in anomalous objects, for example garments deliberately concealed within the structure of buildings, and string figures (cat's cradles). She is keen to exploit the opportunities provided by online technologies for exploring texts and artefacts.

More about Big Ideas

Big Ideas is a new series of monthly briefings on big ideas coming out of The National Archives' research programme.
Covering themes of innovation, creativity and excellence each Big Idea will share with colleagues and professionals aspects of innovative research taking place at The National Archives and elsewhere that could apply to their own area of work.

Each Big Idea will take place on the first Monday of the month from 13:00 - 14:00, unless otherwise stated, and there will be opportunity for Q&As at the end of each briefing.

The series is free to attend and open to the public but is aimed at colleagues from The National Archives and professionals from other research organisations. To book a place email research@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Light refreshments will be provided.

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