MHT Faculty Research Conference – Presentation slides now available

The presentation slides from the University of Lincoln, Faculty of Media, Humanities & Technology Research & Professional Practice Conference 2011 are now available on the Research Office portal page (login required.)

The presentation from the University Research Office, along with the accompanying speaker’s notes were posted on this blog last week, but you can also read a summary of one of the sessions presented by James Patterson on the MACE Archive below:

MACE to join Lincolnshire Echo and Pilger at MHT

By Geoff Adams 

James Patterson, director of the Media Archive for Central England (MACE), confirmed the move of the organisation’s film archive to the University of Lincoln in the autumn.

In his presentation to the MHT Research and Professional Practice Conference – held on Wednesday 29th June – Patterson confirmed that the University of Lincoln will begin housing the film archive from September 2011. The funding secured for the archive move is reported to be in the region of £450,000, and means that the archive will now join that of the Lincolnshire Echo, which is also housed in the faculty of MHT, and the John Pilger archive which is in the care of staff at the faculty.

According to Dean of the MHT Faculty David Sleight, the plan is “to use the two large seminar rooms on the ground floor of MHT, one for floor-ceiling racking for film (in a temperature – controlled environment), the other to create a suite of rooms for four MACE personnel and to create film work-rooms for viewing, digitisation etc.”

According to Sleight, James Paterson will now join MHT’s academic staff and will help develop a unique MA programme combined with duties running the archive, and also contributing to the re-launch of the MA in Documentary Production.

The faculty also plans to secure research bids for collaborative work with MACE, and it is hoped that the relationship will reveal significant projects for scholarly and public works that will attract major funding.

According to Patterson, discussions about the move have been in progress for a long time, since 2008.

“The final green light was given just before Christmas 2010, we have been sorting out money since then,” said Patterson

He believes the move brings multiple opportunities to the University of Lincoln.

“It’s about opportunities to generate interest from practitioners both in the school of media and other faculties, to explore things which relate to the material we hold,” he said.

“For example, PhD students at Leicester are making good use of the MACE archive in their research about TV news in a regional context, and the perception of women in work as seen in regional TV news between 1960 and 1975 .

“But our presence can also be used to enhance existing research both in terms of how and what we do, and what we use – to deliver outputs and benefits to the general public.

“I believe we are conduits – research can be channelled through us if we think laterally about it” he said.

However, Patterson also believes that it is not just the University which will benefit from the move of the archive – according to the director of MACE the move will also contribute to the enhancement of his organisation’s profile of legitimacy.

“The move brings to MACE public recognition from a highly regarded institution, recognition that we are valuable,” said Patterson.

“It legitimises us and adds enormous value to us – it shows our archive and organisation is interesting and important rather than just peripheral.

“It gives MACE weight and gravitas to be associated with the University of Lincoln, a university that recognises what we have to offer” he said.

The move of the MACE archive to MHT follows hot on the heels of that of the Lincolnshire Echo, while work continues on the Pilger archives by staff at the Lincoln School of Journalism.

Lincoln School of Journalism PhD candidate Florian Zollmann – who works with the John Pilger archive – told the conference: “We now have around two thousand items that we are handling, including many of the film documentaries he did.

“We are preparing to digitalise everything once indexing is completed, and we will continue to complete this work over the next few years.

“These include Pilger’s private archive, films, DVD’s, 2000 or so newspaper articles, reader’s letters that he kept and scripts from his films.

“We have indexed around one thousand articles so far, under sub-categories such as war, racism, in fact all the topics he wrote about.

“It will take a few years to put it online, but references are available from me in the meantime if anyone would like to email me.

“Once we have completed digitalisation, articles will be made available” said Zollmann.

Considerable work on the Lincolnshire Echo archive is now also underway, with significant bids for funding being put in place for future projects involving the archive.

The entire archive comprises hard copy issues of local Lincolnshire newspapers – from their origins up until the present day, with post 1960 editions stored on microfiche as well. These include Lincolnshire Times 1854-61, Lincolnshire Chronicle 1861-78, East Lincolnshire Gazette 1866-1870, Lincoln Gazette from 1873 and Lincolnshire Echo from 1894. From the 1970s the Lincolnshire Echo began editionalising each day, which now provides a unique resource for researchers at the university.

According to the Acting Head of the Lincoln School of Journalism, Professor Richard Lance Keeble, a major funding bid has been organised by Tony Daniels – supported by Ian Snowley (Library), Head of the LSJ John Tulloch and Keeble. The bid was submitted to JISC for £77,700.

The bid aimed at setting up a Digital Assets Management system to manage the annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital material in archive from 1930-1939.  A pilot project was to explore a number of issues such as automatic production of searchable transcripts using new newspaper focused Optical Character Recognition (OCR) techniques.  The application for JISC funding failed – however plans are now underway to make a major funding bid to the Heritage Lottery fund.

“A digitised version of the Lincolnshire Echo would provide an excellent educational resource for higher education, further education and schools across academic disciplines,” said Prof. Keeble. 

“The University already works with partner colleges and schools across Lincolnshire and plans to offer them access to the digital archive. 

“The advantages to academics, local schools and members of the public interested in wide range of fields such as history, media, culture (arts, literature, music, photography), fashion, military/peace studies, agriculture, criminology, housing, transportation and industry, will be immense ” he said.