An interactive, digital record of Coventry featuring maps and photos charting the city’s history has been launched.
The Coventry Atlas – https://www.coventryatlas.org/ – allows people to track Coventry’s pre and post-war history through photographs and drawings placed onto maps of the city ranging from the ride of Lady Godiva through to celebrating Coventry City’s FA Cup victory in 1987.
Coventry Atlas has been produced by Coventry City of Culture Trust with a range of partners including Coventry University, Culture Coventry and Photo Miners.
The launch of the site is, however, only the beginning.
The people of Cov are being asked to upload and tag their images to build up a bank of photographs that will eventually lead to every street in Coventry being represented on the Coventry Atlas. Submissions for the Atlas can be done through Coventry University’s https://coventry.digital/ site, which was launched earlier this year and will soon introduce a submissions portal, making contributing easy.
Photo Miners, funded by Coventry City Council, will be working with communities over the next few months to develop a photographic trails feature, to encourage people to get out and explore the city using Coventry Atlas on their phones.
Coventry Atlas will also act as an educational resource – with specific learning packs aimed at schools – and a site for the whole city to enjoy through 2021 and beyond.
Chenine Bhathena, of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Citizens in Coventry have so many different and wonderful stories to tell. This new Atlas will capture the real life stories and photographs of families in Coventry, our homes, faiths, working lives and arts, crafts and leisure pursuits. It will mark the key moments in our history that have informed who we are today, as well as capturing the key moments in our present, creating wonderful new histories.
“However, we need people from across Coventry to come forward with their images and stories to help this become the true and lasting record of Coventry.
“As we come through the most challenging of times, this is a chance to capture our community’s great spirit and the hope many feel about our year as the UK’s City of Culture 2021 to recover and rebuild.”
Dr Benjamin Kyneswood, of Coventry University, said: “It’s been great working with the Trust to show items in Coventry Digital on the Atlas – it gives the public another way to enjoy their heritage and share their stories of the city.”
Mark Cook, of Photo Miners, said: “We have a fantastic platform in Coventry Atlas. Now we need to work with the public to surface the hidden stories that makes Coventry so special.”
Ruark Jon-Stevens, of Culture Coventry Trust, said: “Coventry Atlas is an amazing resource providing unique access and insight into the development and history of Coventry.
“Culture Coventry Trust is delighted to partner with Coventry City of Culture Trust and Coventry University in its creation. This site enables Coventry Archive images to be featured alongside historical information from independent historians.
“As a charitable trust we rely upon support from partners and other stakeholders to enable the continued enhancement of our digital offer and we look forward to growing this work as we move forward.”
The Coventry Atlas website has been developed by Error Agency with copywriting from author and historian Peter Walters and school resources provided by educational consultant Madalyn Baskerville.
It is part of Coventry’s Great Place project funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Historic England with partner funding by Coventry City Council, Coventry University, University of Warwick and Coventry BID.
It has also received contributions by Historic Coventry Trust, Dr Mark Webb, Historic Towns Atlas and many of Coventry’s skilled photographers.