The Dark Archivist brings history to life

01/04/2007 - London

The Dark Archivist brings history to life

Specifically targeted at engaging children of 12-16 years the 'Dark Archivist' character helps the user explore Oxford County by using an interactive online map found at Hotspots uncover stories and allow the user to view historical documents. It also has a time traveller quiz with access to masses of historical information

The site is the brainchild of the Oxfordshire Record Office and has been designed by digital communications consultancy Reading Room

The website will be supported by a marketing campaign running throughout Oxford and the surrounding areas which launches on 15th May. The Dark Archivist will be promoted on 30,000 brochures inserted into local newspapers and advertised on the sides of 55 buses on routes throughout the county.

Oxfordshire Record Office looks after over 800 years of historic documents relating to the county - registers, letters, maps, wills, diaries - and help visitors use them for delving in the past.

Carl Boardman, County Archivist Oxfordshire Record Office says:
"Without Reading Room, we could never have translated our vague ideas into reality - they took our weirdest ideas and turned them into reality, adding great tweaks of their own. Our relationship was exactly what you wanted from an consultancy - always ready to discuss things, always enthusiastic, and doing just what you wanted them to do, but somehow making it even better. I think the Dark Archivist is more than just a fun website - it's going to change the way Record Offices relate to their users!"

Margaret Manning, CEO Reading Room adds:
"We thoroughly enjoyed being involved in this project. The site is a first for Record Offices in the UK and probably anywhere else as traditionally no one has created anything beyond a factual site"