Speakers and Abstracts


Keynote speakers

Dr Sarah Colley (SMC Research and Consultancy)

Audiovisual Documents, Digital Cultural Heritage and Ethics

My paper highlights ethical issues raised for heritage stakeholders by some ‘audiovisual documents’ (cf. Baron J. 2014 The Archive Effect) in a world of ubiquitous online technologies and media. ‘Factual’ or documentary films and video, virtual reality and other digital reconstructions commonly use historical or archival content to re-enact, re-create or re-imagine aspects of heritage. This can raise questions about truth, trust and ethics. Problems can arise from mismatched ethical values prevalent in heritage practice compared to the technology development and media production industries. Contexts in which ‘audiences’ experience heritage-related audiovisual documents are also crucial to their shifting ethical qualities.

Sarah Colley trained as an archaeologist and has many years of experience working in higher education, research and professional cultural heritage practice in Australia and the UK. She has long-standing research interests in professional ethics, public archaeology, education and also the application of digital technologies in archaeology and heritage. She was involved in developing early computer visualizations for archaeology and has since worked on sustainable digital archives, image databases, video production and ‘big data’ applications in archaeology. She is currently an independent researcher and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leicester.


Gaël Hamon (Art Graphique & Patrimoine)

Gaël Hamon is one of the most recognized specialists in the field of surveying and the promotion of heritage preservation. After gaining a lengthy experience in the restoration of prestigious structures, he founded Art Graphique & Patrimoine with the help of Hervé Quelin in 1994. Holder of a BPMH professional diploma in historical monuments and a gold medal for the best international stonecutter award at the Olympiades des Métiers, he is currently the vice-chairman of Appareilleurs de France and a jury member for the MOF craftsmen competition. He regularly speaks at the INP and the universities of Poitiers, Paris VIII, and Aix-en-Provence.


Dr Marinos Ioannides (Cyprus University of Technology / UNESCO)

Dr Marinos Ioannides is chair of the unique Digital Heritage Lab at the Cyprus University of Technology. He is UNESCO Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage and EU ERA Chair on Digital Cultural Heritage and is an active member of the EU Digital Library Europeana Network. Since 2013 he has been the coordinator of the Marie Curie Initial Training Action on Digital Heritage. From 2016 to 2019 he has coordinated the European Virtual Multimodal Museum which has as its ultimate goal the policy of the European Union in the field of Digital Cultural Heritage to be framed in the new HorizonEurope Framework Program (2021-2027).


Harry Verwayen (Europeana)

Harry Verwayen has been the Executive Director of Europeana since May 2018. He worked in academic publishing for more than a decade before joining the Amsterdam based think-tank, Kennisland, where he was responsible for business model innovation in the cultural heritage sector. He joined the Europeana Foundation in 2010, taking on responsibility for business planning, strategy development and Europeana Collections in various roles. Notably, he has worked with the Europeana Network Association on the development and implementation of industry standards, such as the Europeana Publishing Framework, and more recently on the Europeana Impact Playbook.

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Helen Rowe and Tom Pert (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales): U-Boats: Commemorating the War at Sea, 1914-1918

The U-Boat Project 1914-18 is a collaboration between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Bangor University and the Nautical Archaeology Society. Through a mixture of open access online material (https://uboatproject.wales/ and https://www.peoplescollection.wales/users/29486), a travelling exhibition, free public talks and activity days for the whole family, the U-Boat Project provides unprecedented access to the remains of vessels on the seabed which are part of Wales’s heritage. The research undertaken by the partners uncovers the previously untold stories about the Great War in Welsh waters.

Helen Rowe is a qualified archivist with experience in digitisation and oral history. Helen has worked on several previous HLF funded projects, including Britain from Above, during her 10 years at the Royal Commission. She has been involved extensively with People’s Collection Wales, sourcing and uploading Royal Commission content to the site and training community contributors. As Community Engagement Officer on the U-boat Project, she has been working with museums and venues around Wales to discover the local stories associated with the War at Sea.

Tom Pert is the Online Development Manager at the Royal Commission. He is responsible for developing the website and other services, and also leads the innovation strand of the People’s Collection. He is manager of the Commission’s Digital Delivery project.

Digital Heritage

Adam Clarke and Victoria Bennett (The Common People): Mapping the Void – How New Digital Technologies Can Be Used to Explore Narratives of Absence

“…part of what I am is the enigmatic traces of others…” (Judith Butler)

When we experience the loss of another, we seek to find ways of making sense of absence. We often speak of the “space left behind’. This space has shape, form, texture – and yet, it is constructed entirely by the absence of the other. It is the negative space around what was once present. When we navigate our experience of loss, we are seeking ways to create a narrative of this absence. From creating immersive textual environments to mapping the narrative landscapes of Neolithic Orkney – this presentation explores our collaborative creative engagement with creative writing and new digital technologies, to create narratives from these enigmatic traces.

Penelope Foreman (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust) and the Unloved Heritage? team: Unloved Heritage? Digital Futures for Hidden Pasts, a Perspective from Young People in Powys

Digital techniques and online archives are often an essential aspect to projects funded by grants such as the Lottery Heritage fund, as a way to make heritage “accessible” for all. However, the legacy of these digital repositories is often fleeting, obscure, and have poor take-up among target demographics. This paper presents views from young participants of the Unloved Heritage project in Prestiegne, Powys, on how they view digital heritage and its relevance to their generation.

Tim Hill (Cadw): Digital Art – A Lens on to Heritage Sites

A meet over a cup of coffee, led to the start of a collaborative partnership project between the then fairly young Newport digital and education company pyka and Cadw that would bring together and fuse the worlds of digital art and heritage in an engaging new way. Tested with a range of user groups on site and drawing on the knowledge of site custodians, the initial app idea was grown and honed into a free to use, live Arts Award/new curriculum friendly product that ticks creative, experiential learning and digital competency boxes, that’s fun to use along the way.

Gareth Morlais (Welsh Government): Why we need more mapping projects in Welsh and other smaller languages

How will we continue using the place names in our language unless we see them written down on maps? In the digital age, this needs to include interactive maps on our devices. The web versions need to be embeddable, slippable and able to show points of interest. This is a look at some of the challenges – from which names to use, how to cope with differing versions of names from different ages and localities, how granular to get.

Sheena Payne-Lunn (Worcester City Council) and Dr Natasha Lord (Worcester Health and Care NHS Trust): Worcester Life Stories – Community Co-production for Heritage and Health

Worcester Life Stories is a collaboration between the Worcester City Historic Environment Record and the Older Adult psychology lead at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. This paper will summarise our journey so far towards co-production of a community-owned resource made up of freely accessible heritage material and local knowledge and providing a powerful model of delivering health and wellbeing outcomes through shared interests, shared stories, and a greater sense of community.

Bernard Tiddeman (Department of Computer Science, Aberystwyth University): An Augmented Reality Case Study of Bryn Celli Ddu

We will report on the development of a proof-of-concept Augmented Reality (AR) app of the burial mound and landscape around Bryn Celli Ddu passage tomb on Anglesey.  The app provides visualisations of the site at four distinct stages of its development, an immersive soundscape, plus visualisations of artefacts found at the site or representative of the era, and accompanying text descriptions and videos.  We will discuss design decision relating to 3D registration, memory constraints, how to deal with the user being “underground”, and problems with foreground objects appearing in the background.

Digital Data

David Thomas and Tom Pert (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales): Delivering the Archive – A Modular Approach

The Royal Commission is redeveloping its systems for managing, and making available, the contents of its archive. Currently delivered through a partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, the new solution takes a modular approach based on opensource software, with data integrated through a middleware solution before delivery to a publicly accessible portal. The presentation will look at the elements of the modular solution and the benefits, and risks, of such an approach.

Dr Holly Wright (Archaeology Data Service): Introduction to Saving European Archaeology from the Digital Dark Age (SEADDA) COST Action

The COST Action SEADDA (Saving European Archaeology from the Digital Dark Age) is working to create a research network on the archiving, dissemination and open-access re-use of archaeological data, including participation from over 30 European countries and international partners. SEADDA is an interdisciplinary network of archaeologists and computer scientists; experts in archaeological data management and open data dissemination. This presentation will discuss ways to participate and benefit from the Action.

Gerben Zaagsma (Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH)): The Digital Archive and the Politics of Digitisation

This paper deals with a question that is becoming increasingly important for historians who work with digitised cultural heritage: what are the politics of digitisation and what are its implications for historical research? In discussing this question, I will also emphasise the importance of more transparency in this regard and the need for guidelines about how digital archives are constituted.

Digital Survey

Sophia Mirashrafi (Historic Environment Scotland): The Hill House: A Collaboration in Digital Documentation and Scientific Investigation

Recently placed in a box of chain-mail and steel, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s The Hill House in Helensburgh, Scotland is the perfect playground to push the limits of digital documentation and scientific investigation. Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland are collaborating on a project to utilise digital and scientific data to examine the building’s history and present state, as well as to inform conservation decisions in the future. By examining thermographic data in 3D space, conservators and visitors alike are able to better visualise the state of The Hill House in its entirety.

Prof Bob Stone (University of Birmingham): Exploiting Virtual Reality in the Interpretation of Autonomous System Survey Data of Underwater Environments

Virtual Reality has become an indispensable tool for complementing the exploitation of autonomous systems for surveying hazardous and inhospitable environments, many concealing long lost historical artefacts. VR-converted sonar data from an autonomous vessel survey of a West Country Reservoir supported the digital reconstruction of the pre-flooded valley and its man-made structures. The survey also helped identify remains of World War II torpedo nets, deployed to prevent the destruction of a key water supply to Plymouth. The VR conversion also supported planning activities for remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives, during which remains of the nets’ buoyancy spheres and“chainmail” structures were discovered.


Jon Dollery (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales): GIS – You’ve Never Had It So Good!: How to Create, Build and Use a GIS Environment Using Open Source GIS and Open Data

GIS is everywhere. It’s in our homes, in our cars and it’s even on our phones. The potentials for GIS are boundless, yet it can still be daunting trying to use this tool. These two workshops will enable you to create your own GIS workspaces, using QGIS and populating it with freely available maps and datasets. The first 40-minute session will cover all the basics, with how to navigate, import and create your own data. The second 40-minute session will look more at visualisation of data in 3D environments using LiDAR. “Let’s be frank: You’ve never had it so good!”.

Polly Groom (Cadw) and the Unloved Heritage? team: Minecraft, Skateboarding, a Pop-up Time-vortex (and Other Stories)

Participants and project officers will give delegates the chance to try some of the activities we’ve been doing, and we can all discuss the ups and downs of working with a variety of digital media and a variety of young people! There will also be an opportunity to think about both the archaeological outcomes and the social and personal impacts of this project – and recording both of them.

Daniel Hunt and Dr Toby Driver (CHERISH Project, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales): Droning on: A Practical Introduction to Drones and Archaeology

A ninety-minute introductory workshop to the basics of safe drone flying and post-flight processing for archaeological survey, in the company of two CAA-qualified drone pilots from the EU-funded Ireland-Wales CHERISH Project

Gruffydd E. Jones (National Library of Wales) and Reina van der Wiel (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales): People’s Collection Wales – Memory Archive

‘Memory Archive’ is a People’s Collection Wales initiative, led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. It is a curated account, aimed at facilitating reminiscence work with people living with dementia. Collections are divided into relevant themes and decades (within living memory), based on feedback received from healthcare professionals. This workshop will give a brief introduction to the People’s Collection Wales website before demonstrating how best to use these resources for reminiscence. We will also invite you to create your own ‘memory archives’ – either through existing content or by uploading/creating new resources.

Liz Rawlings, David Llewellyn and Angela Jones (Five Communities History Groups Pembrokeshire): Sharing Local History Digitally

In an age of austerity with public services under pressure, this project empowers local communities with their archival and cultural heritage. It combines local enthusiasm with access to cost neutral professional support in managing the preservation and access of their archival heritage to international standards. The project therefore creates and then develops a system for recording the heritage of five communities in Pembrokeshire through the use of digital technology. This bilingual cutting edge project works to ensure that local artefacts, documents, photographs, archaeological finds, research papers, are recorded and highly accessible to all. Two Digital Archivists ensure that a professional application is presented to cataloguing and digitising collections and ensure that copyright issues are held to the forefront of all issues.

Wyn Williams (Mapio Cymru): Mapping Wales in Welsh

This workshop involves: 1) Description of the scope of the project in the context of the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 grants. 2) Explanation of the importance of Open Data for the project and the “atmosphere” and environment of the project. 3) Summary of the history and background of the project, description of the role of Project Manager, information on our initial partners, Cardiff Open Data. 4) Call for assistance in placing current and historic Welsh names on our map of Wales which can be seen here: https://openstreetmap.cymru. Like Wikipedia, anyone can contribute to the map, including participants at the conference.  

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