Approaching the Finish Line

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Excerpt of Belper Map (Credit: Joe Elliott and Charlotte Eley)

It’s been a while since I last posted on here as a combination of summer holidays and my own slowly encroaching university deadlines have slightly put the brakes on my end of the project. However I’ve been getting back into the swing of things recently and have been making some real progress on the mapping front.

The Belper and Sheffield maps are starting to really come together and now its more a matter of pulling together all the strands of research into an easily understandable and interesting format. Hopefully when we’re finished there will be two versions of the maps of Belper and Sheffield: a simplified version showing the most important and interesting information we’ve found which will appear in the project publication and a more in-depth online version on the project platform where users can navigate through stories as they so wish. Or at least that’s the plan! At the moment the main challenge is whittling down the huge amounts of information so as not to clog up the underlying visuals which Charlotte done an excellent job on so far. Hopefully we should start to see glimpses of the final products soon!

Excitingly, we’ve also had requests from a couple of local museums asking to use these final maps in their displays on the area. This has prompted me to begin a new round of research in order to make sure we’ve got everything accurate and as interesting and relevant as possible seeing as the work will be subjected to that hardest-to-please audience: the general public. To this end I’ve dug out old books on Sheffield water power from the University library, revisited my old notes from the Matlock archives and gone through transcripts from mine and Julia’s interviews with various experts.

On top of this we’re hoping to add own research stories as another layer to the maps, indicating how and where we found all the information we’ve included. This should give an indication of how these resources were brought together as well as giving the respective sources their due credit. There’s still more work to be done yet of course, myself and Julia are going to meet another interviewee this week and I’m sure I’ll be able to drag more nuggets of information out of some dusty old books and archives before this process is all through. But it is with a lot of confidence we can say it looks like we’re reaching the end of this strand of the project, and we’re close to producing a very useful and interesting final product. Fingers crossed that its viewers think the same thing!

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