Tag Archives: scotney castle


A personal memorial at Scotney Castle.

Having been away a lot recently I’ve been negligent of updating the blog, so I thought I better update it straight away today.  First thing to mention is that there is now a London and South East Blog, which I will be contributing to this month. I’ll be using the blog as a platform to talk about some of our places and their links to the First World War, as part of the annual commemoration for Armistice.

So you may have beeen thinking this week’s entry is about the film staring Gerard Butler as an archaeologist being sent back in time to Medieval France. You’re probably glad to find out that it isn’t!

Having been impressed by the BBC’s history of the world timeline I’ve been recently searching for free alternative on the internet for developing something similar. I stumbled across this website, which has a list of 7 examples of timelines as well as links for three free website you can use to make your own interactive timeline.

Having used both Time Toast and Dipity, my personal favourite is Dipity. Time Toast may be okay for a basic timeline, but Dipity simply looks better and has a lot more features. I’ve included a screen shot below as wordpress doesn’t like Dipity HTML code.

Screenshot of my 18th Century Ceramics at Polesden Lacey Timeline

Alternatively have a look here, my own personal favourite view is the flip book view. However I also like the ability to switch to a map view, so you can see not only information about in this case an object, but also where it was made and also when it was made. I think it may be a slightly more interesting way for doing for instance objects of the month etc, what do you think?

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Filed under Collections, Flip-Page, Timelines

The Mountains of Web 2.0

I was updating the title bar for my blog yesterday, as you will see above with images from our collections as opposed to the books which came as standard (which I’ve been meaning to do for the last few months). On logging on to wordpress I saw this featured blog. The geeky but very popular webcomic xkcd produced a new map of online social communites.

It’s an interesting if not entirely scientific representation of based on how popular communities are based on social interaction as opposed to total membership.  Another similar version of the above was also carried out by marketing firm Flotown, both show what has become the pre-eminence of facebook. What is really interesting is if you compare it to the 2007 version below.

Look at how small facebook is compared to Myspace, similarly twitter is notable by its non-existence, something that is hard to believe these days.  One of the other interesting things you notice about the 2010 version is the enlargement of size of things like farmville, social gaming is increasingly popular (as anyone who has a facebook account and is constantly spammed by request to join friends in games will know!).

One of my own favourite things is ‘the plain of awkward social family interaction’ as older users have flocked to facebook in recent years, it appears that the younger audience has dropped off. Maybe having your mother comment on your pictures proves too much for some!

Talking about facebook, it also has provided a platform for a new page for Edward Hussey III of Scotney Castle. The page will be updated a couple of times a week with information from Edwards diaries etc from Maidstone Archives between now and Christmas. It will add snippets of information about the construction of the new house at Scotney and also contain links to images in the collection. So if you want to know Edwards 13 objections to the old house at Scotney, please check out his page!

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Filed under Collections, National Trust, Social Media

Pseudo Books?

Part of the collections of Scotney Castle are seven visiting albums compiled by Christopher and Elizabeth Hussey covering a period from April 1936 through to September 1968. 

Watercolour and pictures of Corsham Court Wilshire © National Trust / Charles Thomas

The first four albums for the period 1936-1955 are a record of country house visits paid almost entirely in England, Wales and Scotland, while the three albums for 1961-1968 record foreign holidays and travels.

Over the last week I’ve been developing ways we could use these stunning albums in new ways. The first and simplest I’ve been working on is combining all the images into a single .PDF to use as an eBook.

The second has been working on has been creating a page flip version of the album for use on a external device. Having no skill in creating flash files myself, I’ve been scouring the web and I’ve come up with a number of ways to do this, either using software or sending .PDF files to be converted. I’ve also discovered this free version of doing it, so far it seems to be working fine!

Certainly technology like this is exciting and allows us to look at documents and books which are maybe too valuable or distant to be read in a traditional way. Digital versions of books seem to becoming more and more popular. Something apple seem keen to capitalise on with the launch of the book version of Itunes…..Ibooks!

Having access to information easily is important and interesting but is the wow factor of lost in seeing only a digital copy? Can they really ever replace the real thing? Answers on an electronic postcard!


Filed under Ebooks, Flip-Page, Ipad, National Trust