The Friends of Lydiard Park have won a prestigious national award to digitise the 1920’s diaries of local farmer Elliot Woolford of Hook Farm, Lydiard Tregoze.
TWA Digitisation Grant 2022 – Winners and Match Fundees
Welcome to our 2022 TWA Digitisation Grant winners and match fundees’ page where you can find out about the organisations we are working with as a result of this year’s funding allocation. Discover our four lucky primary grant winners, as well as those who made a successful claim against our new Match Funding Pot! This page is live, with details being added as organisations make their way through our onboarding processes.
This year’s grant promised to be bigger and better than ever, an objective that has been well and truly achieved. The grant was increased from three to four awards of £3,000 each, and a new match funding pot was created, offering organisations up to £1,000 towards their next digitisation project. Read on to find out what our annual funding campaign looks like in the months following it’s closure and be sure to return to see how these projects grow and develop into 2023.
Our Digitisation Grant is currently closed for applications
Our winners – Meet the organisations & their winning projects
Find out about our four lucky winners and hear a bit about their unique projects.
Winner Brass Bands England
First to hear about their success, and taking away one of our grants of £3,000, was Brass Bands England for the digitisation of their ‘most at risk’ sheet music papers. This will be part of a staged process which will ultimately see up to 180,000 pages digitised in order to preserve brass band heritage. Having conducted primary research into visitor behaviour, and having established that as many as 82% of respondents wished to engage with their content digitally, this material is set to be made accessible online, inspiring both present and future bands; an objective we agree demonstrates great social impact.
Winner The Vintage Sport-Car Club
Next to celebrate was the Vintage Sport-Car Club for the digitisation of archival records dating back to the 1930’s. Consisting of original manufacturers’ user handbooks and technical leaflets, period engineering books, factory drawings, photographs illustrating the company’s pre-war bespoke car bodies, and the Jeremy Collins Collection of car share certificates, this archive offers a shining example of how archival records can be used to inspire others – for this particular case, current and future engineers. The descriptions of their collection, shared within the application itself, demonstrated clear plans for how this material could and would be used for social impact and, as members of the Heritage Skills Academy, the VSCC demonstrate a real commitment to the development of skills and knowledge, recognising the value within their archive for supporting this vision.
Next to take away a grant of £3,000, was Cinenova for the digitisation of 95 boxes or archival material, to include film stills, slides, negatives, transparencies, and various paper records relating to feminist film and video. This content is in need of specialist, oversized equipment, and will involve data capture services in order to catalogue the collection appropriately and make it ready for online access. Cinenova’s delicate material is in very real danger of loss through deterioration and this was another project that clearly demonstrated great opportunities for social impact, particularly within the film industry. Incredibly, this archive has been managed successfully, and quite admirably, by volunteers, and Paul Sugden was very impressed with the achievements of the organisation commenting that, “the sheer hard work, labour and professionalism demonstrated by [its] non-salaried workforce is evidence of their commitment and ongoing passion”.
Winner Wiener Holocaust Library
And that leaves us with our our fourth and final winner, who just had to be the Wiener Holocaust Library for the digitisation of their entire Weiner Holocaust collection. Consisting of photographs relating to the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad and the Jewish Relief Unit, this material has been stored across a number of locations and is in need of protection given its great importance. The project aims to make 17 albums and 1,984 separate loose photographs accessible through digitisation. These photographs depict Anglo-Jewish humanitarianism during and after the Holocaust and the Second World War, and illustrate the impact on Holocaust survivors and displaced persons, and the aid extended to these groups. Optical Character Recognition will capture the valuable information inscribed on the reverse of these images to support accessibility.
Our match fundees – Meet the organisations & their match funded projects
After a record breaking year for submissions, the size of the match funding pot grew phenomenally and many organisations took advantage of the opportunity to get the digitisation ball rolling. Find out about these match funded organisations and discover more about their incredible projects.
NOTE: Our marketing team work hard to capture photos and quotes from all of our TWA Digitisation Grant projects. But, being a lengthy process, some projects might not feature here just yet. Be sure to check back regularly as we strive to celebrate every single success story and welcome you aboard this exciting digitisation journey!
Match Funded Three Rivers Museum Trust
Three Rivers Museum is very much a home of local history – what was it like to live and work round here? We have a reasonable selection of old maps, but nowhere to display them, certainly not where they can be seen and studied. We’ve just obtained a large-screen interactive digital display, though, and if we could afford to have the maps digitised it would be the natural place to make them accessible.
So we were very happy to be awarded £1000-worth of TownsWeb Archiving work in match funding against a grant we already had. That’s allowed us to present 37 of our maps – some small and detailed, others very large – digitally, just as we hoped. The effect is just terrific: visitors can select the map they want to see and zoom in on it to see the detail, which has been captured brilliantly by the TWA technicians. The display needs that quality, and this whole project gives us a whole new perspective on what a small museum can present.
Match Funded Friends of Lydiard Park
The Friends of Lydiard Park are an independent charity supporting and promoting interest, engagement, conservation and research into Lydiard Park, an important historic estate lying in the small parish of Lydiard Tregoze on the western edge of Swindon in Wiltshire. Out interest covers the important Palladian House, an accredited museum, its historic landscape setting, the ancient church of St. Mary and the lives of people who have lived, worked and played there over the centuries. This includes the St.John family who held the manor of Lydiard Tregoze for over 500 years until 1943 and the farmers, labourers, artisans and local families whose lives lay in the orbit of the big house…
Match funding from TownsWeb Archiving has allowed us to begin digitising the diaries, a group of ten, so that they can be viewed by the public in perpetuity for the first time. TownsWeb’s support has given huge impetus to our project, excited interest and pride in the local community and provided a recognised national endorsement which will be invaluable in approaching other grant funding organisations.
Match Funded North East Derbyshire District Council
We have been working with TownsWeb to ensure that our historical burial registers are preserved in digital format. TownsWeb have delivered an quick and efficient service in scanning our records enabling the Council to archive the historical paper records to ensure the books remain intact for future generations.
Match Funded Museum of the Order of St John
Young people have been involved with St John Ambulance since its foundation, and in 1922, the Cadets were formally established as a nationwide under-18s programme. Today, over 8,000 Cadets are enrolled in England, and across the world, young people make up over half of all St John volunteers. The Archive at the Museum of the Order of St John holds a collection of magazines and publications created specifically for the Cadets and St John youth, featuring reports and accounts of events and activities, news, stories, and photographs, resulting in a fantastic set of records which document the development of the charity’s youth programme.
Thanks to our partnership with Towns Web Archiving, the Museum is able to successfully digitise the Archive’s entire collection of Cadet and youth publications. This digitisation project will enable us to open up the collection to our international audience for the first time, and allows the previously unheard historic voices of our Charity’s youth to be heard.
Match Funded Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust is working in partnership with Kirkcaldy Civic Society to unveil a treasure trove of old photographs, slide images and documents collected by a former trustee and currently stored in a cupboard in Kirkcaldy Old Kirk. Digitised and made accessible to the public in an online collection, they will no longer languish in oblivion but be preserved for viewing by authors seeking background information for their next book, by genealogists seeking references to their family or by those reminiscing about past days in their town – all common requests from our correspondents online.
This is our first pilot project to digitise the material to achieve this. We are happy to be adding to the resources of the heritage centre and community venue of Kirkcaldy Old Kirk, used as a base for the Civic Society’s public talks and summer heritage walkabouts, joint conferences and costumed events. We are graateful for the grants from Fife Council and Townsweb Archiving to make this possible.
Match Funded Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, EFDSS
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, as part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, houses England’s only dedicated research facility for folk music and dance. We attract many important donations and bequests therefore, many of which are unique and irreplaceable. For that reason, it is our duty to preserve our photographs and manuscripts as well as we can for future generations, as well as making as much as possible accessible on our website for people unable to get to London.
We are delighted to have secured match funding from TownsWeb as it has enabled us to preserve many more photographs than would otherwise have been possible in our budget. The pictures are a unique record of folk dance practices across the early to mid 20th century, and apart from their preservation, TownsWeb’s money will enable us to make most of them available on our website, where they can be seen by researchers, dancers, and other members of the public with an interest. There is potential to connect with local communities and maybe even descendants of those pictured, helping to bring their history alive. We strongly believe that no archive should be a static repository, but an opportunity for documents such as these to speak to as wide an audience as possible, and we thank TownsWeb for their help in this mission.
Match Funded Houghton Regis Town Council
Houghton Regis Town Council have been delighted to work with Towns Web Archiving, not only have we been fortunate enough to receive a substantial level of grant funding from them but they have also been a pleasure to work with. TWA have completed work for Houghton Regis Heritage Society so we were already off to a good start. The Council decided to continue this work and have had over a decade’s worth of council minutes scanned ready for sharing. The quality of the work is outstanding. We are so looking forward to releasing the material to our community and beyond, and can’t wait to see what kind of things people search for.
Match Funded British Trust for Ornithology
One of the most important collections held in the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Archives is the personal papers of Emma Louisa Turner (1867-1940), who was a pioneering bird photographer, ornithologist, lecturer, and author. We have been fortunate to receive match-funding from TownsWeb, which will enable us to make her fascinating notebooks accessible for the first time.
The notebooks primarily relate to a stay on Lindisfarne during the winter of 1914-15, and are a remarkable group of exercise books, bound journals and loose handwritten material detailing meticulous daily wildlife observations. Some of the bindings are quite fragile which makes it difficult to provide access, and we’re very grateful to TownsWeb for producing high-quality digitised images through which we can open up this valuable resource.
Emma Turner’s notebooks are the first of our personal papers to be digitised, and we’re very excited to introduce new audiences to the work of this amazing lady!