Testimonials re HistoryWorks

Professor Paulina Kewes, University of Oxford's Faculty of English Language & Literature; Tutorial Fellow at Jesus College, University of Oxford

Professor Paulina Kewes, renowned scholar of Holinshed and Shakespeare, was the Co-Investigator managing the research and the delivery of the films and accompanying website for the Stuarts Online project.  Here is her testimonial reviewing the project made in partnership with Historyworks as the media production company which delivered all the digital content for Stuarts-Online:

"Historyworks has been exemplary in assisting the Stuarts Online project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to develop a public facing digital presence designed to boost public knowledge and appreciation of Britain’s Stuart past. Stemming from the academic project on the Stuart Successions, Stuarts Online sought to engage a variety of publics and demographics, from school children and university students (both UG and G) and the wider interested population.

Historyworks helped train members of the project team, including full-time academic project leaders, graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher, and worked intensively with us as a team to identify the best mode of realising the project’s aims in an appropriate variety of film formats and ensuring a very effective web presence, all produced by the expert team at Historyworks. The outcome, a dedicated website, comprises over 20 short films showcasing original source materials produced on location in Oxford, and in collaboration with the Bodleian, the Ashmolean, the Historical Association, and Jesus College, which provide brilliant introductions to a range of themes, viz. the political engagement of Stuart drama by Shakespeare, constitutionalism, religious dimension of dynastic upheavals, iconography of royal entries and medals, and many, many others.

The outcomes including the coaching and support for stills photography and scripting were excellent. We were impressed by the delivery and production values in the co-produced films: the animation, the films showcasing source materials, the website to showcase the films and resources, the advocacy film, the biography films for the academic team to use as show reels. I strongly recommend Historyworks to anyone wishing to produce an effective digital resource designed to popularize the knowledge of history or literature!"

Dr Giovanna Vitelli, University of Oxford's Director of Engagement; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Testimonial from Dr Giovanna Vitelli of the University of Oxford, who has a wide perspective on the Stuarts-Online project from her experience as Director of the University Engagement Programme,  Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Dr Vitelli, in her role as Curator at the Ashmolean Museum also facilitated the photography and filming work at the Ashmolean and  was the recorded expert for the film about Stuart embroideries. Her testimonial:

As a participant in the Stuarts Online project, I found myself part of a very professionally managed process that made clear not only what the tasks and timelines were for each individual, but which knew how to knit together solid academic support and continuity in order to make my contribution fit into the syllabus. From my perspective as a developer of integrated text and object based learning, the level of sophistication of the project’s approach was exceptional.

Working with ECRs and other specialists, and being made aware of the technical and visual aspects of my contribution by Helen Weinstein and the team at Historyworks, added immeasurably to my understanding of what was needed, and kept me focused. The amount of careful work that went into each film was impressive.

What is most impressive, and compelling, about the final product delivered by Historyworks in the website hosting the films and further resources, is the extraordinarily rich platform now being provided for A-Level students that speaks rigorously to the syllabus but also provides affordances that are sensitively attuned to the learning needs of digital natives. It sets the bar very high for university teaching platforms!

Dr. Giovanna Vitelli
Director, University Engagement Programme
Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
Beaumont Street
Oxford OX1 2PH
Tel +44 (0)1865 288 287

Professor Andrew McRae, PI of Stuarts-Online, Head of English Department, University of Exeter

Testimonial about collaboration with Historyworks, written by Professor Andrew McRae, who worked closely with Historyworks every step of the way from shaping the funding application to AHRC, to setting up the partnerships and the media production workshops for the academic and curatorial team, to honing scripts and praticing communicating on camera, to sign-off on the films and website and social media strategy:

I led the AHRC-funded project that created Stuarts Online. This project was developed out of ‘The Stuart Successions Project’; our aim was to use the findings and expertise established through the earlier project to produce resources of direct applicability to students encountering the Stuarts in the classroom, particularly at A-Level.

            From the beginning, Historyworks was always much more than a contracted media developer. Indeed the Historyworks team was involved in our earliest discussions, helping us to give shape to our goals and methods. They helped us to think about the needs of our target audience, and ways of drawing connections between academic research and A-Level courses. Once we won the grant and began work, they worked in partnership with us as we developed the different materials. They also provided media coaching, which was not only valuable for the films we were making, but will be important for future projects.

            The quality of the finished products is impressive. We worked closely with the film editors, who were devoted to ensuring accurate and engaging results. Their attention to detail was remarkable. Moreover, the Historyworks team supported us in efforts to ensure maximum impact, especially by working through press officers and boosting social media presence.

            This partnership approach, working with a project from its inception to its delivery, worked really well for us. Given our lack of relevant experience with the development of media products, it made a huge difference to have the reliable and experienced Historyworks team as partners.

Yours sincerely,

 Andrew McRae

Head of Department and Professor of Renaissance Studies
College of Humanities
Department of English
Queen’s Building
The Queen’s Drive
Devon EX4 4QH
Telephone   +44 (0)1392 724258
Email    a.mcrae@exeter.ac.uk

Testimonials re HistoryWorks


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