A multimedia information exchange of the industrial heritage of the Lower Lee Valley
The Lee Valley Industrial Heritage Electronic Archive (LVIHEA) is a model record of industrial buildings composed as a composite of multimedia data files relevant to the interpretation of the region's dynamic industrial environment. The design criteria concerning natural, human and artificial resources are applicable to education and heritage management strategies. The prototype model was evaluated in terms of its efficacy and effectiveness with designated user groups. The developed model will enable qualitative and quantitative analyses concerning the economic, social and industrial history of the region. It can be used as a pedagogic tool for instruction in the principles of structured data design, construction, storage and retrieval, and for techniques of data collection. Furthermore the data sets can be closely analysed and manipulated for interpretative purposes. Chapter one attempts to define the Lee Valley in terms of its geographic, historical, economic and societal context. The aims and resources of the project are outlined and the study is placed in the bibliographic context of similar studies. Thereafter it addresses the processes leading to and a description of the structure of the prototype model. A paper model is presented and the data structures conforming lo or compatible with established planning, archiving and management protocols and strategies are described and evaluated. Chapter two is a detailed description and rationale of the archive's data files and teaching and learning package. It outlines procedures of multimedia data collection and digitisation and provides an evaluative analysis. Chapter three looks at the completed prototype and reviews the soft systems methodology approach to problem analysis used throughout the project. Sections examining the LVIHEA in use and the practical issues of disseminating it follow. The chapter concludes by reviewing the significance of the research and indicates possible directions for further research. The survey is artifact rather than document led and begins with the contemporary landscape before "excavating" to reveal first the recent and then the more distant past. However, many choices for inclusion are necessarily reactive rather than proactive in response to the regular "crises" where conservation is just one consideration in a complex development. Progressive strategies are sometimes sacrificed for the immediate opportunity to record information concerning an artifact under imminent threat of destruction. It is acknowledge that the artefact (building) would usually disappear before its associated documentation and that therefore it was imperative to obtain as much basic detail as possible about as many sites as possible. It is hoped that greater depth can be achieved by tracking down the documentation to its repositories when time permits. Amenity groups had already focussed their attention on many of the more "interesting" sites and every opportunity was taken to incorporate their findings into the LVIHEA. This study provides an insight into the cycle of development and decline of an internationally important industrial landscape. It does so in a structured environment incorporating modem digital technology while providing a framework for continuing study.