Professor Judith Jesch, University of Nottingham
As this website is about to go live, it seems right to reflect on what has happened over the last year and a half and where we are going next.
2017 and 2018 were very busy with our ‘Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands’. It all started when the University Museum heard that it would be one of the venues for the British Museum travelling exhibition Viking: Rediscover the Legend. We began making some preparations for associated activities, and were lucky enough to get a substantial grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support these activities. We were even luckier that Dr Roderick Dale, formerly of the World-Tree Project at University College, Cork, was available to take on the post of Cultural Engagement Officer and to manage these activities. We then started thinking bigger and planned, and got funding for, a second exhibition, Danelaw Saga, and a popular book on Viking Nottinghamshire. You can read about all of these things in more detail on our About the Project page.
One important aspect of that project was to fix some of what was achieved then for the future, hence this site, which we think of as a virtual museum. Here, you will be able to catch up on some of the talks that you might have missed during the exhibitions. You will also be able to see many of the items featured in the Danelaw Saga exhibition, with more information about where to go to see them in museums, or on the Portable Antiquities scheme website. A strong feature of our exhibition-related activities were the handling sessions with museum-quality reproductions of Viking Age artefacts made especially for us by Adam Parsons of Blueaxe Reproductions – we now have high-quality photos of these for you to download and marvel at how the objects would have looked when they were new. A further exciting feature are the Viking designs made for us by Adam – these are line drawings which you can use for whatever educational or entrepreneurial purpose you might have. They are open-access and available to use under Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0.
Other features of this museum, such as the place- and personal names and runes are still in development, so keep coming back to find something new. Although the original project is now officially over, Roderick is still with us for phase 2. He will keep working on this site during the coming year, alongside some other duties, so bear with us as we keep making it better and more detailed.
Do explore this virtual museum and let us know what you think on our Twitter account @emidsvikings.