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

Applications sought for funded PhD studentship jointly supervised by colleagues from the University of Glasgow, Edinburgh Napier University, and the National Library of Scotland

SGSAH Gaelic logoWith colleagues Dr Paul Gooding (University of Glasgow) and Amina Shah (National Library of Scotland), Dr David Brazier of the Centre for Social Informatics has been awarded an Applied Research Collaborative PhD Studentship by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). Continue reading

Dr Bruce Ryan is long-listed for a national award

Dr Bruce Ryan

Dr Bruce Ryan

Dr Bruce Ryan, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, has been long-listed for Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year Award 2021.

This is in recognition of Bruce’s contributions to library and information science (LIS) research in the past year, particularly in respect of the Research Impact Value and LIS (RIVAL) project and conferences hosted by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Scotland (CILIPS).

For further information about the award, including details of the other five long-listed candidates and sponsor Bolinda Digital, please see the post on the CILIPS web site.

Congratulations to Marina Milosheva: awarded a distinction for her MSc(R)

Marina Milosheva

Marina Milosheva

Many congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Marina Milosheva. Marina has achieved a distinction in the Masters degree that she undertook in 2019/20 in first year of her four year 1+3 doctoral programme.

Marina is the fourth of our six Skills Development Scotland (SDS)/ESRC funded PhD students, and the second to be awarded the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. This Masters year is offered to all students who win an Edinburgh Napier SDS/ESRC doctoral studentship to study with us for a PhD at Napier, but who do not already hold a Masters degree that incorporates 60 credits of research methods training. Continue reading

Nominations announced for the ENSA Excellence Awards 2020

ENSA student-nominated excellence awards 2020 logo Congratulations to all Edinburgh Napier University colleagues who have been nominated for the Edinburgh Napier University Students’ Association (ENSA) 2020 Excellence Awards, and especially to the 18 members of staff from the School of Computing. Continue reading

An award for PhD student Katherine Stephen

Congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Katherine Stephen, winner of the PhD award in the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) 2020 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. The entries were judged in August by a panel of three: Patrick Watt, Head of the Evaluation Team at SDS; Diane Gill, Manager of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science; and Dr Pauline Anderson, Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Strathclyde.

The title of Katherine’s award-winning entry is ‘Meta-skills maturity in the workplace’. The video of Katherine’s talk can viewed by clicking on the image below.

Screenshot 2020-07-22 at 18.02.52

Continue reading

Katherine Stephen and Marina Milosheva present in the SDS 2020 virtual 3MT® competition

3MT logo inpage

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has just launched its 2020 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Seven PhD students currently on the SDS PhD Programme have risen to the challenge of explaining the complexity and relevance of their doctoral research in a concise and engaging way for a non-specialist audience. Continue reading

Dr David Haynes wins best paper award at ISKO 2020

ISKO: International Society for Knowledge OrganizationCongratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr David Haynes on winning the 2020 International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) best paper award.

ISKO is a scholarly organisation concerned with the theory and practice of knowledge organisation. Its membership is drawn from a range of disciplines including information science, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. Continue reading

Congratulations Dr Lyndsey Middleton and Dr Leo Appleton!

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Dr Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins) and Dr Leo Appleton, both of whom graduated with their PhDs last week. Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to celebrate with them in person in the usual way at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall. However, the University was able to mark the day in other ways, including this video.

Lyndsey’s PhD thesis is entitled Exploring the development of innovative work behaviour of employees in multiple workplace contexts. Continue reading

An award and an appointment at ASIST in Australia #asist2019 #asist19

Last week many members of the worldwide Information Science community gathered in Melbourne, Australia for the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). I was sorry not to be there myself. This was due to my teaching commitments this semester, in particular my final year undergraduate Knowledge Management module.

Abebe Rorissa, Brian Detlor, #asist2019, #asist19, Hazel Hall, Clarivate, teacher, award

Dr Abebe Rorissa presents Dr Brian Detlor with Hazel’s ‘Outstanding Information Science Teacher’ award (Photo credit: Becky Willson)

Despite my lack of physical presence at the conference, I kept an eye on the hash-tagged tweets from the event (#asist2019; #asist19). I was particularly interested in the Twitter stream around breakfast time (in the UK) on Tuesday 22nd October when the delegates in Melbourne were sitting down for the conference dinner and awards ceremony. This was because Visiting Professor to the Centre for Social Informatics Dr Brian Detlor had kindly agreed to step up to the stage to accept the 2019 Clarivate Analytics Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award on my behalf.

The award was presented by Abebe Rorissa of the University of Albany – thank you! I should also thank Rebekah (Becky) Willson of McGill University for taking photographs during the presentation. Continue reading