Presenting our past in the future

Chris MACE
(CEM Archaeology, Keighley, UK)

Keywords: industrial heritage, digital, photogrammetry, open source

This project considers a recognised and protected site of outstanding industrial heritage, a small, rural 19th century textile complex, listed Grade II* in UK legislation. Despite it’s isolation and dependence on water power, the concern prospered by adopting the latest modern technology, notably ‘Jacquard’ weaving. Now recognised as being ‘At Risk’, both the owners and national heritage bodies struggle to find a way to secure a sustainable future for the site due to lack of funding.
In many ways the site is representative of so many heritage sites of local and regional significance, perhaps owned or run by community groups who struggle to find the finance to employ large, commercial companies to produce documentation and management plans.
It is proposed to provide full documentation of the factory, or mill, with a small team of volunteers using where possible , some of the modern recording techniques now becoming available at a fraction of the cost of top of the range remote sensing techniques such as laser scanning and expensive commercial software programmes.
The project will adopt photogrammetry, using digital photography, small hand held laser tools and open source CAD and GIS programmes to survey and interpret the site to recognised professional standards.
However, importantly, it will also explore new ways to present the site to today’s demanding audiences by looking at affordable and accessible new technologies such as 3D modelling,  and virtual and augmented reality techniques.