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Hands-on Heritage workshops towards creating a digital Trail through the Historic Burgh of Inverness

High Life Highland’s culture teams have recently announced plans for two collaborative workshops in September, which will begin to form the basis of a digital trail highlighting the fascinating history and heritage of Academy Street and the surrounding area.

Over the next 15 months, the teams at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery (IMAG), The Highland Archive Centre and Inverness Library will be working in partnership with the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project to share items from their collections that help to tell the Academy Street story. Work is already underway to gather local peoples’ memories, recollections, research and creative responses to the Burgh’s fascinating heritage.

Ian Murray High Life Highland Chief Executive said: “The city’s archive, library and museum are all filled with collections that shed light on its rich story. The development of Academy Street is central to this, as our collections show. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Inverness Townscape Heritage. This project will enable people to get hands-on with this unique heritage; re-populating the street with key characters, stories and buildings from its past and, further, engaging future visitors in the fascinating history of the Highland’s capital.”

The Highland Council’s Inverness Townscape Heritage Project focuses on the historic thoroughfare of Academy Street, which is a critical gateway to Inverness City centre. The Project has been set up to regenerate the built environment of Academy Street through the street’s rich heritage.

Assisted by local archaeologists and heritage specialists from AOC Archaeology, Inverness, High Life Highland’s curators, archivists and librarians will be collaborating to engage local community interest and knowledge in the project. The planned workshops, activities and exhibitions created with members of our local communities will help to explore, research, record and share the heritage of this key area of the Historic Burgh of Inverness.

Councillor Richard Laird, Chairman of the Townscape Heritage Project, said: “We are delighted that the first public engagement events for the Academy Street digital trail are on the horizon. These are going to provide a fantastic opportunity for local people to find out more about the history of Academy Street and the wider city, and will help provide important context for the work going on under the Townscape Heritage Project.”

Mary Peteranna, AOC Inverness’ operations Manager is delighted to be assisting with aspects of the project. She said: “Our team are looking forward to working with High Life Highland’s culture teams to offer a series of fun and interesting sessions and workshops that will bring the hidden gems of our city centre to life. We are particularly pleased to be able to offer training associated with recording aspects of Academy Street’s buildings; developing the workshops participants’ heritage skills.”

The community curated findings, interpretations of the heritage and the original artworks and writing created in the workshops will be included in a new digital trail and series of leaflets, showcasing the heritage of Academy Street and the surrounding area. The trail will be available to visitors and local people who want to discover more about the buildings and features of the street through the objects, archives and memories that tell their stories.

Places can now be booked for the first series of workshops this September by calling 01463 237114 or emailing [email protected]. Details of the workshops are provided below.

To maximise success of the project, it is important that as many local people as possible get involved, discover and share more about the history of Inverness!

Townscape Heritage Inverness Workshop details:

Workshop One: Introducing Academy Street and the city of Inverness, Thursday 1 September 2016, 10am – 1:30pm, Room to Discover at IMAG

Learn about and share your knowledge about the origins of Inverness, including getting hands on with key objects from IMAG’s collections, including a selection of the Burgh’s medieval charters, that give us information about the significance of the City’s location through time, including:

– The ancient and historic layout of the settlement of Inverness
– Medieval Inverness through to present
– Academy Street’s part in the story, including trade, travel and tourism and so much more.

Workshop Two: Mapping the changes in Inverness, Tuesday 6 September 2016, 10am – 1:30pm, Highland Archive Centre

Explore the Archives collections of historic maps, census records, valuation rolls and sasine registers and more. Discover and share answers to the following questions:

– What are the earliest maps that show Academy Street?
– How has the street changed over time?
– What are the different ways in which the buildings have been used?

Advance booking is essential, in person at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, by calling 01463 237114 or email to [email protected]