English Literary Heritage is a project being undertaken at the University of London’s Institute of English Studies.
The English Literary Heritage project aims to explore new ways of exhibiting literary manuscripts and objects to a wide audience. These physical artefacts can connect people to the historical, social and economic importance of literary works and illuminate the conditions in which they were produced. This can lead to new interpretations of published texts and different ways of looking at familiar works of literature.
While literary manuscripts and objects have been studied extensively in an academic context, this projects aims to connect these traditional disciplines with archivists, curators and, ultimately, a general audience. Working with libraries, archives, museums, literary houses and English departments, we aim to explore how the boundaries between these institutions can be crossed, defining new theoretical/conceptual models and examples of best practice.
Key to these aims will be the examination of possible digital technologies that can be used as tools to help readers find their way through literary heritage documents and enable them to unlock the narratives they contain. The power of digital technology can also be used to create a more varied and interactive museum experience, placing emphasis on the visitor’s role in interpreting the literary objects by borrowing techniques from computer gaming and existing application development.
This project is also interested in forging links with curators, archivists and academics who have a professional interest in the development of public engagement programmes in literary houses, archives and museums.
For more information about the project and its aims, contact the project researcher Dr Graham Foster: email@example.com
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