Actions and Detail Panel
Transit to Hawai'i: behind the scenes with digital history & astronomy
Sat 29 October 2016, 10:30 – 16:30 BST
To mark the launch of a new digital archive resource hosted by Cambridge Digital Library, this workshop gives you the opportunity to find out more about the work of historians, the history of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and how objects, photographs, drawings, printed and manuscript sources can be combined in digital form and by historians to tell their stories. The resource includes official and private manuscripts relating to the 1874 transit of Venus, as its observation was organised from Greenwich. In particular, it follows the expedition to Hawai'i, led by Captain George Lyon Tupman and recorded - in prose, photographs and unique caricature drawings - by his team of observers. Talks will reveal the history, how new sources change and develop our understanding of the past, and the processes behind the creation of digital sources. The day will take advantage of the Greenwich location and materials in the Museum's Caird Library and, for those interested, ends with a session in which workshop participants can contribute to the project.
Location: Seminar Room, National Maritime Museum
10:30: Registration, tea and coffee
11:10-11:45: The transit of Venus expedition to Hawai'i and its multi-media legacy
(Dr Rebekah Higgitt, University of Kent)
11:45-12:15: Officer, artist, and Transit observer: exploring the unusual legacy of George Lyon Tupman
(Dr Charlotte Tupman, University of Exeter)
12:15-12:45: Digitising the Transit - from archive to internet
(Huw Jones, Cambridge University Library)
12:45-13:45: Lunch (a sandwich lunch will be provided)
13:45-14:15: Visit to The Queen's Orchard in Greenwich Park:
Site of the Royal Observatory's "Reserve Ground", where observing huts and instruments were set up and tested before the 1874 expeditions
14:15-15:00: Visit to the Caird Library:
See printed materials through which the transit observers advertised their work to the wider public
15:00-15:30: Tea and coffee
15:30-16:30: Your chance to contribute!
If you want to stay to the end of the day, this is a supported opportunity to help historians and archivists by adding to the digital resource. This can be by linking related information, helping to index or by adding biographical or technical detail. You can also help disseminate these sources by linking them to relevant pages in Wikipedia (or adding a whole new page!): an expert Wikipedian will be on hand to offer advice and training. If you want to join this session, it would be very helpful if you could bring your own laptop.