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Revolutionary Players of Industry and Innovation is creating a website based on digitised material from libraries, museums and archives across the West Midlands region relating to the development of the Industrial Revolution and significant individuals who contributed to it. The focus is on the period 1700 - 1830.
Prints, paintings, drawings, photographs of objects and buildings, letters, maps, plans and books are being digitised and linked together to form the website. These materials are placed in their historical their context to encourage historical understanding.
Revolutionary Players aims to provide a model for the development of regional digitisation projects and it is hoped that it will serve as a nucleus for further website development.
The project was initiated by The Libraries Partnership - West Midlands, which becomes part of Museums, Libraries and Archives - West Midlands in April 2003.
The Revolutionary Players Project is financed by the New Opportunities Fund, which distributes National Lottery money and awards grants to projects covering education, health and the environment. £50 million was allocated to NOF-digitise, specifically to create a wide variety of online learning resources to support lifelong learning and to digitise material from cultural heritage organisations.
The project is one of seven that form the 'Sense of Place - West Midlands' consortium. The projects are digitising material ranging from Natural and Local History to Literature and Regional Identity from Stoke and Stafford to Warwickshire. Other consortium projects are:
A London based company, Atticmedia have designed the website and are working with the project staff on the development of the interactive learning journeys.
How to use the site
There are several ways of accessing material.
Use the Gallery to see the range of resources Revolutionary Players has digitised. Material can be accessed by a keyword search or browsing through topics.
Learning Journeys provide access to activities illustrating how the West Midlands contributed to the development of the Industrial Revolution in a variety of ways.
Users can also create an Album of materials selected from the site.
Revolutionary Players has been made possible with input from:
Birmingham Central Library
Birmingham City Archives including the Archives of Soho Project
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Pen Trade Association
Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham
Derby Museums and Art Gallery
Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield
National Gallery, London
Soho House Museum, Handsworth, Birmingham
The Wedgwood Museum
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
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