In late October, we welcomed eight new Collections Volunteers to the digitisation team. Following an induction day, which involved an introduction and overview of the Mary Rose Trust, we commenced training on all the digitisation processes. After this, the new team members wasted no time in getting stuck into the digitisation project alongside the existing team.
By the end of November, we had digitised just over 12,000 images from the archive. This included 35mm slides, 35mm film strips and assorted larger formats. The target we set ourselves of 15,000 digitised images by March next year (which was a key objective for this Arts Council England funded project) is now in sight! The progress to date is a reflection of the incredible contributions made by all of the Collections Volunteers.
Just like October’s blog, the image highlights this month have been chosen by the Collections Volunteers themselves and include some of their thoughts on why they were chosen or of interest.
“This has to be one of the more photographically artistic of the slides I’ve come across – the elegant shape the diver’s body makes is entirely accidental as they are obviously hard at work with the archaeological equipment. One of the beautiful things about maritime archaeology is how otherworldly it can seem.”
“I have chosen this image of leaf cells under a microscope as I think it is a good reflection of the scale of finds from the Mary Rose. From the vast hull of the ship right down to the things which we can only see under a microscope; the discovery of the Mary Rose has incorporated many different academic disciplines and specialities. It is good to remind ourselves of the plethora of discoveries and studies that are made available by the Mary Rose”.
“The picture appears to be of the raising and washing of a cannon during the year of my birth. I particularly like this image as it puts you right alongside the artefact, immediately after it was raised. It gives you a real sense of how exciting it must have been for everyone involved to witness such beautiful and ornate details being revealed after hundreds of years under mud.”
“I find the balance of the steel cradle and the ship’s hull fascinating. Rather than creating tension between contemporary and archaic methods of construction there’s a unity between timber and steel – the diagonal rods and exposed beams seem to reference one another, distorting the functionality of the ship as it lies on its side (unlike the current method of display where scenes are projected into the ship to emphasise and remind the viewer of its functionality). For me, this image isn’t focused on exhibiting an artefact but exploring and playing with its forms. The chosen perspective transforms the subject from ship and cradle into arguably a united whole: the perpendicular steel foreground could be the bottom of the hull itself, and the (what would have been) horizontal beams could now serve as an extension of this, interestingly rejecting its original shape so it’s a juxtaposition of the modern and historic. Yet the sprayed water (captured now as a hazy mass) disorientates the viewer and offers a different reading, jutting timber emerges from a gothic mist. I think it’s a great shot as the steel cradle isn’t presented solely as a method of preservation, but as something to enable creative interpretation.”
In the run up to the end of the year, we will be continuing the digitisation of the 35mm film strips and look forward to uncovering and sharing some more great images from the archive!