New Digital Library will Celebrate City’s Cultural History

Coventry University has teamed up with Coventry City of Culture Trust, Culture Coventry and other partners to launch Coventry Digital – a new online platform designed to celebrate the city’s heritage.

The new digital resource is an online library documenting the past and present culture and history of Coventry. It comes as a timely boost to the marking and documentation of Coventry’s proud history and bright future ahead of its UK City of Culture celebrations.

So far, more than 12,000 items including photos, videos, maps and documents have been uploaded to the archive featuring a wide range of Coventry’s most unique and defining features from years gone by as well as more recent times.

Coventry Digital was set up to allow people with connections to Coventry to revisit and celebrate its past and update it with new assets, images and content. It is hoped Coventry Digital will create a deeper appreciation and understanding of the city’s culture for residents and visitors of all ages.

As funding partners of the project, Coventry Atlas has facilitated the digitisation of a vast range of images, assets and resources that have been made available through Coventry Digital, including an interactive map displaying bomb damage to the city during the war.

Coventry University’s Dr Benjamin Kyneswood, Director of Coventry Digital, said: “We have every confidence that Coventry Digital will be a great asset to the city and its surrounding communities and it will undoubtedly get better as we add more to it.

 “We’re asking families, businesses and community groups to contribute their archives by getting down their shoe boxes, opening up those old filing cabinets, and getting in touch. We want people in twenty, forty, sixty years to be able to see their grandparents in colour and voice through Coventry Digital, knowing their memories are safe and accessible. We want people to look back and have a better understanding of where they come from.

Coventry Digital also has the potential to allow augmented and virtual reality uses as its content and contributions develop, enabling a more in-depth and advanced resource for documenting the city’s cultural journey.

Coventry City of Culture Trust Creative Director, Chenine Bhathena, said: “A focus of our year as UK City of Culture is to encourage everyone in Coventry to participate, both in our programme and in telling the city’s stories. A lot of these stories are well-known around the world, but this project gives us all the opportunity to highlight the often-forgotten stories of a place, focusing on the people and day-to-day life of Coventry.

 “It is an archive that will continue to grow over the years, and become richer with every submission by the people of the city during our landmark year as UK City of Culture.”

Francis Nielsen, Cultural and Creative Director of Culture Coventry, said: “Coventry Archives preserve the physical images and records which tell the story of Coventry and its people – from medieval times to the present day. Coventry Digital enables us to make our collections more accessible as well as enabling communities and organisations to share and co-curate their own memories and stories alongside them.

 “Over 7000 of our images are already accessible on the site and we cannot wait to see our historic images displayed alongside the images, videos and documents of the people of Coventry.

Anyone can view or contribute to Coventry Digital by visiting the website.

This article is edited from a press release from Coventry University

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