||28th October 2002 Heritage experts in Wiltshire are seeking help to create an on-line window on the county's historical and cultural treasures.
Window on Wiltshire’s Heritage is an innovative £425,000 Lottery–funded project that will set up a massive web–based resource, connecting to a wide variety of partner sites detailing Wiltshire’s rich and varied history and culture.
Wiltshire is renowned around the globe for its historical riches, such as the world–famous ancient monuments at Stonehenge and Avebury.
The new web site will increase public access to heritage information and enable anyone with an interest in history to access a wide range of information about the county – covering heritage, culture and the natural environment.
Members of staff at Wiltshire County Council are leading the project. The home page is now on–line and the project will take two and a half years to complete.
Project leaders are seeking help from potential users during the development stages and an on–line questionnaire has been created to find out what they want from the site.
As part of the consultation process, visitors to the site are being asked to nominate their favourite example of Wiltshire’s heritage and culture – this could be anything from a building or monument to a favourite landscape or aspect of the county’s natural heritage.
The results of the poll will be published on the web site next year, together with photographs of the top nominations.
Assistant project officer at Wiltshire County Council, Helen Shalders, said: "We intend to build an on–line resource that everyone in Wiltshire can be proud of, but we need to know what users want to get out of it so we can tailor it to meet their needs.
"We would like as many people as possible to fill in the questionnaire, so we can get a clear idea of the type of content web site users would like to see.
"We want to hear from anyone with an interest in Wiltshire’s heritage, including local people, people from overseas researching their family history, and those who have visited or are planning to visit any of the county’s large number of wonderful tourist attractions."
The Window on Wiltshire’s Heritage project involves a total of 18 partner organisations connected with the county’s heritage. The WOW web site will act as a portal, connecting to the partner sites.
New material is being created for each of the partner organisations’ web sites and the pages will be linked to the Window on Wiltshire’s Heritage portal web site.
The Window on Wiltshire’s Heritage home page can be found at www.wowheritage.org.uk
Visitors to the site will be able to access both the questionnaire and the ’My Favourite’ nomination form.
NOTES FOR EDITORS – (1) The Window on Wiltshire’s Heritage project covers eight broad themes – Wiltshire’s Nature, Wiltshire Archaeology, Wiltshire’s Museums, Wiltshire Buildings, Archives For All, Window to the Past (photographic exhibitions), Art of Wiltshire, and Open Book (local history).
(2) The 19 partner organisations are Athelstan Museum, Avebury World Heritage Site project office, Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, Kennet and Avon Canal Trust Museum, Lackham Museum of Agriculture and Rural Life, Market Lavington Village Museum, Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (Salisbury) Museum, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Stonehenge World Heritage Site project office, Trowbridge Museum, Wiltshire Art Collections, Wiltshire Buildings Record, Wiltshire County Council Archaeology Service, Wiltshire County Council Conservation Service, Wiltshire County Council Local Studies Library, Wiltshire County Council Museum Service,
Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office, Wiltshire Heritage Museum, and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
The project has been funded through the New Opportunities Fund’s £50–million UK–wide ‘digitisation’ programme. The aim is to enable people to access over the Internet resources held in galleries, libraries, museums and other educational and cultural centres.