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Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:06

Digital bonanza for telecoms historians

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The UK's National Archive is to digitise 165 years worth of British Telecom's and its predecessors' historical documents.

The project is a collaboration between Coventry University, BT Heritage and The National Archive and aims to catalogue, digitise and develop a searchable online archive of almost half a million photographs, images, documents and correspondence. It is being funded with a grant from JISC (formerly the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee).

According to JISC: "The BT Archive is held, with some limited public access, in central London and is by any standard a collection of national and international importance, recognised by UNESCO'¦

"The digitisation of a significant proportion of the Archive will allow teachers, students, researchers and the general public in the UK and overseas to gain easier access to our scientific and cultural telecommunications heritage; enabling them to utilise the archive for studies and leisure from anywhere in the world. Digitisation of the Archives will also ensure the continued preservation of the collections in digital as well as analogue format."

The project includes research work around product and graphic design, language development and problem-based learning. Using innovative, immersive techniques the project will develop mobile and web access to the collection for scholars, teachers and learners as well as the general public.


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