History Hackday will be taking placeat the Guardian’s offices in Kings Cross, London on January 22-23 2011!
A Hack Day is an event which brings together groups of designers, developers, and assorted interested folk over a weekend of high-octane hacking – a little over 24 hours to build new, working, stuff. At the end of the event everyone demonstrates whatever they’ve built in front of everyone else. There are often prizes.
Hack Days get people engaged with and excited about a subject, and our subject is history. There’s a lot of it about, but lots of it is stuck, on paper, in old HTML pages, in archives, on hard-to-reach databases. We want people to figure out how to set some of that free, and start bringing that history to life as… whatever crazy things people can come up with.
We want people to come up with hacks that make history accessible and understandable in new ways.
Think Scrapheap Challenge meets In Our Time versus Time Team in bed with A History of the World in 100 Objects.
We also want to get as many smart people interested in history into a room as we can: there are a whole load of hard problems we might be able to come up with some good ideas about solving (How should digital maps deal with changing landscapes? How might we join up some of those unfortunately separated data sets? How should government store this stuff going forward?)
There’ll be updates and thoughts here on the blog, and you’ll also be able to access datasets and join in over at the History Hack Day Wiki