The redesign of the website has enabled us to add a number of different types of content, that will enable users to explore the county’s heritage, wildlife, natural environment and more to a greater extent than previously. Our Warwickshire has become, you might say, a one-stop-shop for information about our county’s heritage and natural environment.
The pilot site was notable for its user contributed articles, and these are continued in the new site. It’s fair to say the content covers a wide range of both subjects and levels. You can read about people’s memories of working in Nuneaton, or listen to a performance of a historic letter held at the county’s archives to give two examples. Content ranges from memories to more academic research such as the Atherstone House History Project, and subject matter ranging from reflections on old buildings, the county’s wildlife, landscape and geology, and its social and archaeological history.
In addition to this, we have also imported a number of photos (10,000 in all) from the Windows on Warwickshire website. These images see a wide range of resources represented including old photographs, rare documents, maps, historic buildings, art, letters, fossils, literature, everyday memorabilia and much much more. As with the articles, the opportunity is there for users to comment on the images, to help us as a community build up a knowledge and understanding of them. You can also add your own photos as well, of course.1
The final part of this trio is the Historic Environment Record. Have you ever wondered what archaeological discoveries have been made in your local area? Do you know whether your home is near a Bronze Age burial site or a deserted village? The answers to these questions and more are now available on this website, where you can search through our database of known archaeological sites and finds to learn what has been discovered in your neighbourhood. You will notice that many of these records do not have images attached to them. Part of the way you can help our knowledge is by uploading images for us. Details on how to upload images for the HER Records can be found here.
We have a list of heritage and natural environment organisations around Warwickshire. These include museums, archives, local history societies, and organisations concerned with the county’s natural landscape and heritage. If you’re interested in finding like-minded people around the county, then do please use the list to find groups that might be of interest. Should your group not be listed, we would love you to add it. Please go to the get involved page to do so.
Events and exhibitions of interest to this website are listed here. If you’re wondering whether there’s the opportunity to go on a wildlife walk, listen to a talk about a historic building or event, or maybe take a short course on something of interest to you, do please check here. As with other areas on this website, your own event and exhibition contributions are more than welcome.
Last but by no means least is our blog. This keeps you updated with progress on the Our Warwickshire project itself. You’ll see posts that give a behind the scenes look at the work going on at Market Hall museum to ready it for opening to the public, and occasionally you also get an insight into the work behind this website, too.
A few guidelines to your contributions
As mentioned, this website is your website, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate that to keep it as accessible as possible for you, we need to have a few guidelines. These aren’t meant as an exhaustive list but, rather, are there to help you focus if you’re thinking about what to give us. Naturally, it’s our intention to keep your voice, but it goes without saying that any contribution(s) may be edited or removed at the complete discretion of the editors of this site.
- What we’re looking for is articles, photos and catalogue entries with a Warwickshire link. When it comes to writing articles, it would be great to link the content to its Warwickshire angle – why is an object linked to the county, or what part of somebody’s life pertained to the area, for example.
- Our idea of Warwickshire is mostly governed by your idea of Warwickshire. The current county boundaries are an administrative divide, but many of you consider Coventry, Solihull etc. to be in Warwickshire, regardless of those present-day boundaries. That’s OK, contributions relating to those areas are welcome.
- As it’s a website that consists of heritage and natural environment, we’d like articles to relate to the past in some way – as a rough guideline we’re looking at things over ten years old. This doesn’t mean that your story has to be ten years older or more – it can mean that you’re responding, now, in the present, to something of great age (a fossil, perhaps) but do, please try and keep an awareness of the county’s heritage in any article. Contributions relating almost entirely to the present, or out of region, will not usually be published except where special circumstances make this desirable.
- We’ll be delighted to accept contemporary photographs as contributions to the Historic Environment Record, and also as illustration for articles.
- For the photographs section of the website, we’d like photos that do themselves have an age – think the over ten years.
- When it comes to publishing your contribution, there may be times when we have to edit the content in order for it to be as accessible as possible to other users. This can range from correcting basic typos, to formatting your contribution so it fits the style of the website, to removing names and or dates due to Data Protection, We will obviously try however, whenever possible, to keep the sense of contributions as submitted. One of the strengths of Our Warwickshire is the many voices we get from different contributions, so we want to maintain that.
1 We would appreciate that they aren’t watermarked, however.