National award recognises the Platform to Platform project: British Records Association Janette Harley Prize 2022 runner-up

LogoThe Edinburgh Napier University team that worked on the Platform to Platform (P2P) project to transform Lorna Lloyd’s Diary of the war into a podcast series is delighted to have learnt that this work has been highly commended as a runner-up for the British Records Association’s (BRA) 2022 Janette Harley Prize. This prize, awarded in memory of archivist Janette Harley (1951-2015), is intended to generate interest in archives, and raise awareness of research and achievements in the world of archives.

Our commendation was made on the basis of a submission that reads as follows:

We would like to submit our podcast series Lorna Lloyd’s Diary of the war for the 2022 Janette Harley prize. All eight episodes of the podcast series are accessible from https://rss.com/podcasts/lornalloyd/.

We created the podcast series in the first half of 2022 as part of a project called Platform to Platform. The project was supported with a £5000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It extended the work of Hazel Hall between 2019 and 2021 to digitise an archive on a photo sharing platform (Blipfoto). The funding also enabled the team to undertake empirical work to compare audience engagement with digitised archives in two formats: (1) online text and images; (2) audio.

The main content of the archive that we have digitised comprises written commentary on the events of World War II between September 1939 and January 1941, and details of life under war-time conditions in England. When war broke out in 1939, Lorna Lloyd – the author of the diary – was somewhat reluctantly living with her parents in Malvern, Worcestershire after a few years away from home, first as a student at Girton College, Cambridge, then as a school mistress.

Thanks to support of the British Library, FindMyPast, and the BBC, the podcast series also includes contemporaneous news stories from print and broadcast media. As a result, the podcast series presents a chronicle of the early years of World War II where one woman’s perspective is amplified with news content. Lorna’s words give us first-hand personal reflections on particular events. The narrated print media excerpts chart reactions to the same news at local and regional levels. The national perspective is provided through the inclusion of BBC content in the podcast episodes in two forms: (1) broadcast radio news clips and (2) readings from news report scripts.

As well as allowing access to BBC material that we know that Lorna herself heard at the time, the BBC Archive staff also helped us with another key element of the podcast version of the war diary: a theme tune. For this, we were keen to use a piece of music that Lorna mentions in the diary. The BBC Archive staff secured a BBC performance of César Franck’s Symphony in D minor for us, and advised on its use without breaking copyright.

Part of the originality of this work is that the actress who plays Lorna in the podcast series is a member of Lorna’s family. Lorna’s great-great niece Bethany Ray happens to have turned 25 this year, the same age as Lorna when she started writing her war diary. Three other voices contribute to the story: another professional actor plays Lorna’s brother; one of our PhD students is the announcer; and another non-professional (although with much experience of amateur dramatics) plays the newsreader.

The other personnel important to this project has been the production team. Five third year students from the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University – four from Sound Design and one from Software Engineering – have produced a highly polished, professional product that, to date, has been downloaded 17882 times from https://rss.com/podcasts/lornalloyd/.

The empirical work that we have conducted with audience members who are familiar with the archive on both platforms (Blipfoto posts and podcast episodes) is important and novel. This is because its focus differs from that of the limited amount of prior research on podcasting and archives, where archivists’ use of podcasts for outreach is the main area of enquiry. Our interests are engagement and impact, where the podcast is an entire archived data set presented as a performance.

The main findings from the empirical study are that a digitised archive in audio format supplemented with contemporaneous news content:

    • contributes to the entertainment value of the audience experience
    • makes the audience experience more vivid
    • gives audience members the opportunity to consume exactly the same news media as the author of the archived material
    • encourages the learning of listeners, with the news content serving as ‘additional references’
    • prompts a far greater emotional response to the atrocities of war than an archive digitised in text and images.

Furthermore, the casting of a Lloyd family member as Lorna here adds to the authenticity of the listening experience.

To conclude, the Platform to Platform project has demonstrated the value of the podcast format in unlocking the hidden value in archives, while making accessible a fascinating resource about the first-hand experience of living through the early months of World War II.

Resources:

The digitised archive in two formats:

Other work by Lorna Lloyd created as part of the Platform to Platform project:

Conference presentations on the Platform to Platform project:

Congratulations to the team members who worked so hard on the production of the podcast series: Principal Investigator Bruce Ryan; Co-investigators Hazel Hall and Iain McGregor; student production team members Alex Gencs, David Graham, James McLachlan, Andras Peter, and Michael Suttie; performers Bethany Ray (Lorna Lloyd), David Monteath (Theo Lloyd), Richard Godden (newsreader), and Katherine Stephen (announcer).

The project team also gratefully acknowledges the support of the wider community in bringing Lorna’s writing into the public domain, with special thanks to Jake Berger and Emma Gibbs (BBC Archive); Faith Renger (Malvern Museum of Local History); Marianne Wilson (researcher on the sister HOPSS project); Stella Wisdom (British Library); P2P project board members: David Darlington, David Monteath, Guy Puzey, Sarah Ames and Sue Dumbleton; the Blipfoto community; the project team at Creative Informatics; and the Lloyd family.

We are now looking forward to attending the the prize giving ceremony at the Lambeth Palace Library on the evening of 16th March at which the BRA patron Lord Salisbury will present our certificates.

The full details of the 2022 award winner and the three runners-up are available from the British Records Association’s web site.

Lorna Lloyd and Bethany Ray

World War II diarist Lorna Lloyd and her great-great niece actor Bethany Ray, who plays her great-great aunt Lorna in the podcast series

Out with the old, in with the new

Hazel Hall and Peter Cruickshank

Dr Hazel Hall and Dr Peter Cruickshank, 30/09/22

In autumn 2022, the more eagle-eyed readers of this blog may have noticed some changes across the pages of my web site, as well as in my profile information on other platforms. I spent 16th November 2022 editing my designation as ‘Professor’ so that it now reads ‘Emeritus Professor’. At the same time, my colleagues updated the Centre for Social Informatics flyer as version 19.3 to reflect the new status granted to me by my employer. Earlier in the year, on August 3rd, we advertised a job vacancy for a new Professor in Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. All this activity ties to my retirement at the end of September 2022. Continue reading

A conceptual framework of career information behaviour and career information literacy: new research published in ‘Information Research’

Abstract, CIEL, conceptual, framework, career information literacy, Milosheva, Hall, Cruickshank, Robertson, #isic2022Capturing career information use in everyday life: introducing the CIEL conceptual framework by Marina Milosheva, Hazel Hall, Peter Robertson, and Peter Cruickshank has been published. The paper features in the proceedings of Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) 2022 in a special issue of Information Research. ISIC 2022 took place between 26th and 29th September at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt University. Continue reading

Funded Social Informatics PhD opportunities at Edinburgh Napier University: apply by 15th January 2023

If you would like to study for a PhD from October 2023, the Social Informatics Research Group at Edinburgh Napier University is currently advertising the following projects:

  1. Behaviour change for cybersecurity: Increasing awareness and reducing susceptibility – supervised by Dr JP Vargheese
  2. A new model for information literacies of community representatives – supervised by Dr Peter Cruickshank
  3. Online safety and digital literacy – supervised by Dr David Haynes
  4. Organisational learning and agile coaching – supervised by Dr Pritam Chita and Dr Peter Cruickshank
  5. Policy changes for inclusion of disabled students in HE – supervised by Dr Debbie Meharg
  6. Privacy and identity in the metaverse – supervised by Dr David Haynes
  7. Trust, risk and digital identity for digitally-unsure citizens – supervised by Dr Peter Cruickshank

Continue reading

An afternoon of advice on studying part-time for a PhD

LIRG logoLast month on 18th November 2022, I was delighted to take part in an event deigned for those interested undertaking part-time doctoral studies.

The speakers at Routes and experiences of doing an LIS PhD were brought together by the committee of the Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to provide insight into the experience of undertaking a PhD while working, as well as provide practical information on topics such as making an application for a PhD place, and the different routes to earning the title of ‘Doctor‘. Continue reading

Network development to narrow the LIS research-practice gap: Emerald EarlyCite paper now available

Amongst the latest articles published online ahead of print by the Journal of Documentation is one on narrowing the research-practice gap that I have recently co-authored with my Edinburgh Napier University colleagues Dr Bruce Ryan, Rachel Salzano, and Katherine Stephen.

Continue reading

Forced migrants, integration, and public libraries: new research published in ‘Information Research’

forced migrants, public libraries, integration, local authorities, Scotland, research, Salzano, Hall, Webster, Brazier

Abstract of ‘Is the public library included? An analysis of local government documentation on the integration of forced migrants in Scotland’ (Salzano, Hall, Webster & Brazier, 2022)

Is the public library included? An analysis of local government documentation on the integration of forced migrants in Scotland by Rachel Salzano, Hazel Hall, Gemma Webster, and David Brazier has been published. The paper features in the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science as the October 2022 special issue of Information Research.The 2022 CoLIS conference was held at Oslo Metropolitan University between May 29th and June 1st 2022. Continue reading

A gathering of leaves at the University of Edinburgh

A gathering of leaves display

One of the displays at A gathering of leaves. The exhibition runs until 25th February 2023.

Last Thursday evening I was delighted to attend the opening of a new exhibition in the ground floor gallery of the University of Edinburgh main library. Continue reading

Routes and experiences of doing an LIS PhD: half-day virtual event offered by LIRG, 18th November 2022

LIRG logoAre you interested in undertaking a part-time PhD? Would you like to learn more about the experience of undertaking doctoral study while working? Do you need advice on the application process, and help in distinguishing the different types of registration for a doctoral degree? Continue reading

What is career information literacy and what can it do for you? Seminar presentation by Marina Milosheva

career information literacy talk Marina Milosheva CPUT librariesToday Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Marina Milosheva is delivering a presentation entitled ‘What is career information literacy and what can it do for you?’ at the second Research and information literacy skills in the workplace seminar hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Libraries. Continue reading