This week we speak with our partner Ronan McConnell, TIDE Project Officer at Derry City & Strabane District Council (Northern Ireland) about their involvement in the project. DCSDC is a local authority and, through the Derry Museum and Visitor Services, it has the responsibility and, therefore, skills to manage and develop the visitor attractions. This includes the Tower, Guildhall and Maritime museums.
What is the contribution of your organisation to the project?
Derry City and Strabane District Council are one of the partner regions. Our role is to work with the other partners in creating an immersive digital heritage tourism package, focusing on our case, on the themes of Migration and the World Wars. We are also the lead partner in the final work package, which will focus on rolling out the pilot projects across the regions.
Have you identified any good practices that will be shared among the partnership?
We have an incredibly rich maritime heritage here in the North-west of Ireland and Derry/Londonderry has played an important role in both Migration from the 18th to 20th Centuries and in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. Our good practices have focused on exhibitions and events we have been involved in over the years that have been successful, and the results of which we would hope inform our own pilots. We also hope our partners can glean some useful information on themes that are very relevant to them, in particular the Spanish Armada as part of our permanent La Trinidad Valencera exhibition.
How will you benefit from this interregional cooperation?
We have an incredible shared heritage that has become more and more obvious the more we work together. All of our regions have been shaped by the migration of people, by conflict and by the rise and fall of seafaring empires over the last millennium. The stories that will emerge from this project will do more to highlight how we are all intrinsically connected from a unique heritage perspective. Working together and working with associate partners and stakeholders has already brought forward remarkable knowledge on current technologies that will benefit our outcomes. The result of our join cooperation, our connections and our research will produce some truly unique and memorable.
Why did you decide to join TIDE?
We have strived collect and promote our unique maritime heritage for many years to further enrich peoples lives and one of our goals was to re-establish the international maritime links that our city and region has been most famous for. This has already been achieved through numerous festivals and events celebrating our maritime significance but in terms of tangible and visual reminders as to what used to be here, the international significance has been somewhat reduced to visitors to our city in recent years, most significantly due to the removal of the physical port infrastructure from the centre of the city to further up the river. In addition, many of the famous seafaring voyages and vessels we are trying to promote lie beneath the waves, inaccessible to only the most experience divers. TIDE gives us the opportunity to address this lack of tangible heritage in a new and exciting way, through virtual journeys.
What do you expect from the project?
We’re already learning new and exciting information regarding the heritage of our partners and also the technological resources we can tap into. We hope to learn the real value and potential of increased access through virtual means, and the opportunity to create truly astonishing experiences for our visitors.