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The Alfred Gillett Trust’s Shoe Digitisation Project
The Alfred Gillett Trust is a Somerset-based charity that preserves and promotes the heritage collections of C & J Clark Ltd and the Clark family, which established the globally recognised shoe company in 1825. Founded by members of the Clark family, the collection now contains over 100,000 records relating to the shoemaking industry, social history, the Society of Friends and local geology. The collections represent an invaluable resource for Clarks staff for shoe design and marketing inspiration, as well as external researchers and historians. In 2013 the Trust began a £1m collaborative project with Clarks to digitise the extensive heritage collections by photographing or scanning nearly 50,000 items and making them available online. Of the five digitisation projects planned, the footwear collection is the only one which will be digitised on site by the project team, with the other four collections being handled by external specialists. The Trust is using digital photography to visually document around 25,000 shoes, representing over 500 years of footwear development. This paper aims to give an overview of the decision-making process and standards implemented during the development of the digitisation project. It will explore the digitisation process step by step, from the first selection of a shoe, through documentation, photography, processing, file storage and facilitating access.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.