A new BDA website opens its archives up to the public as well as allowing the Deaf community to share old photos and videos of their own.
It’s finally here! After 18 months of blood and toil SHARE: The Deaf Visual Archive is now live! For the first time in BDA’s history, people will be able to access our archives from the comfort of your own homes.
The BDA has been blessed with wonderful archives with some 15,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of footage donated to us over the years capturing Deaf history going back as early as 1897. But we had to find a way to share this with the public.
Many of you may remember back in early 2014 we received funding for this project from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over the last 18 months, the BDA has been painstakingly digitising and cataloguing 1,200 photographs and 300 film clips dating back to the 1800s.
The BDA has been working with Shift Design to design a website which allows people to access its archives as well as uploading any photos or videos of their own. So the wider public will be able to access the BDA’s archive, ensuring Deaf history and all its fascinating stories is not limited to deaf people.
One of the most exciting features of SHARE is people can leave comments on the website in BSL as well as in English. So people can get involved and share their own memories as well as browse.
This new easy-to-use platform reveals hidden treasures from our heritage such as footage of a 1935 football match between England and Belgium in the Arsenal Stadium in which you can see a discussion around how the referee will alert players to his whistle by waving a white flag.
“One of the most exciting features of SHARE is people can leave comments on the website in BSL as well as in English. So people can get involved and share their own memories as well as browse”
This unique resource also allows the public to engage and contribute in many different ways, including:
• using specifically-designed tools to search for material using keywords, tags or even names!
• using the interactive map and/or timeline feature to explore the materials visually
• comment on photos or films in either English or BSL
• uploading your very own old films and photographs!
Please visit www.sharedeafarchive.org.
Have a browse! We are looking forward to viewing your comments, and – after searching through the boxes in your attics – seeing all your own old photographs and films too. Happy dusting!
The official launch of this website took place at the British Film Institute on 11 November 2015, alongside the premier screening of the new documentary Power in Our Hands. Read more about the documentary in our January issue!
Contributing to our archive
If you have an old photograph capturing a glimpse of Deaf history – for example, a scene at a Deaf school – you can upload it onto the website. Others who attended the same school will be able to find the photograph through the search tool or by locating the school on a map. If they want to express their feelings on seeing the photograph and discuss school memories, they can leave a video or text comment. They will also be able to add name-tags to the old faces in the photograph – which we predict will be a useful feature in piecing together our history!