The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park has unveiled a new multimedia Domesday 'Touchtable' display in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original BBC Domesday project.
The touchtable will be on display at Bletchley Park from 10 December. It is one of only three in the UK and one of two hosting the Domesday application, The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) said in an announcement on Wednesday. The other Domesday-loaded touchtable is now housed at MediaCity UK in Salford.
Launched in 1986, the Domesday project — itself a celebration of the 900th anniversary of the Domesday book — invited members of the public to submit images and text about their local areas.
The new table has a 52-inch multitouch display that supports pinch-to-zoom and rotation and can support four users simultaneously. It also has on-board audio and "very high-spec graphics similar to those used in games machines".
Visitors can use the machine to explore more than 50GB of maps, photos, articles and videos, a TNMOC spokesperson added.
"How exciting to be able to translate the vision of a people's database of British life from the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s into an elegant 21st-century equivalent," Peter Armstrong, one of the leaders of the original Domesday project and contributor to the touchtable project, said.
Data submitted to the original Domesday project was distributed on laserdiscs but the technology soon became obsolete as a result of the high cost of use and fast pace of technological development. The project was then resurrected 25 years later in April 2011 by BBC Learning in the Domesday Reloaded project.
The revamped project encouraged new submissions and made the collection accessible online for the first time. At launch, more than 100,000 people accessed the Domesday Reloaded database and around two million pages were viewed.
The museum hopes the new touchtable — in conjunction with the original technology on display at Bletchley — will serve as a valuable and interesting resource to educational institutions as well as general visitors to the museum.
"TNMOC's display of the 1986 Domesday Project on its original technology is already very popular with museum visitors. Accessing the 1986 and 2011 data on this exciting new Domesday touchtable is certain to be a great success with our growing number of school and college visitors and the general public," Chris Monk, learning co-ordinator at TNMOC, said.
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