The National Archives Podcast Series

The National Archives

Government & Organizations, National

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Government & Organizations 77
National 25

Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.


Searching the unsearchable

November 25th, 2013

Episode 324 of 495 episodes

Colour, pattern and texture are all 'content' but are not searchable like written text. This talk discusses how exploiting digital technology to enhance both access and preservation of the image-rich Board of Trade Design Register could open up the records to new users. The collection contains nearly three million designs (of metal, wood, glass, earthenware, wallpaper, carpets and textiles), represented as drawings, prints, tracings, photographs, samples and products, for example straw bonnets. Making images available in different ways, for instance searching and browsing by Discovery, would allow users to view the designs without handling the collection and could engage a new generation who have grown-up in an age of spectacle and online interaction.Dinah Eastop works in the Collection Care Department at The National Archives as a Curatorial Research Fellow. Her research focuses on promoting access to and preservation of the Board of Trade Design Register - both the written records of registration and the representations of the registered designs (e.g. drawings, photographs and cloth samples). She worked in textile conservation for more than 30 years, mostly at the UK's Textile Conservation Centre, but also overseas, notably for ICCROM. She has lectured and published widely on textile conservation, conservation principles and material culture studies. She has taken a special interest in anomalous objects, for example garments deliberately concealed within the structure of buildings, and string figures (cat's cradles). She is keen to exploit the opportunities provided by online technologies for exploring texts and artefacts.

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