A ground-breaking society
Have you ever heard of a History Society being at the forefront of technology? No? Well we think we are!
We have an excellent archive of local records, photographs, maps and artefacts but to use it you had to visit the archive in person. In 2015 we began making that valuable archive accessible to anyone with an Internet connection at their fingertips.
Click the image above or this link: Marple Local History Society Omeka Archives to reach the Society's online archive directly.
The Marple Local History Society Digital Archive gives free access, via our website, to thousands of documents drawn from our archives collections. It is a searchable database that is easy to use and which is continually growing. It complements our collaboration with The Marple Website, which publishes our large photographic collection via its Virtual Tour of Marple.
Background, development and ongoing work
The initial notion of an online source, which could display the content of the Society’s archive, came from then Chairman Hilary Atkinson. Mark Whittaker, who hosts and designs the Society’s website, investigated possible software that could be used to make this rich resource public. The answer he arrived at was the Omeka software program.
Omeka is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. The name Omeka, a Swahili word, means to display or lay out wares; to speak out; to spread out; to unpack.
Mark worked on this project with the society for over 2 years, setting up the platform, helping us with processes and procedures, and uploaded the initial data. After much hard work, mainly by committee member Louise Thistleton, in September 2017 we were pleased to announce that our digital archives were now open!
That doesn't mean that all our records are immediately accessible. That is certainly our long-term aim but a tremendous amount of work is needed to get there. Some of our archive is now accessible and we will be adding to that each week and each month. However, as our fame spreads by word of mouth and via the website, we continue to receive additions to our archives from home and abroad. Like the Forth Bridge, there will always be more to do – and long may that continue.
If not THE first we must be one of the first UK Local History Societies to share its archives with the world, via Omeka.
To access the Archive, please click here, and visit our sister website, and explore the richness that lies within our archives. Not dusty anymore, but open to all, wherever they may be, whatever the time may be.