Parliamentary Archives And 24 Hour Museum Launch New Interactive Website To Mark 400 Year Anniversary Of The Gunpowder Plot

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New interactive Website to mark 400 Year Anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot launched by Parliamentary Archives and 24 Hour Museum.

400 years after Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, a major new Website exploring the history of this most notorious of plots has been launched at http://www.gunpowderplot.parliament.uk.

Archive material and original documents – including the signed confessions of none other than Guy Fawkes, before and after torture – are used to build an interactive and authoritative account of the political climate at the time as well as the plot, its aftermath and the people involved.

The project was commissioned by the Parliamentary Archives and produced by 24 Hour Museum with expert research and support from the History of Parliament Trust.

Designed and built by award-winning e-learning specialists mwr of Winchester http://www.mwr.biz, the project consists of two websites – one for young children and one for a general audience. Both sites aim to provide a definitive guide to the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605.

David Prior, Assistant Clerk of the Records at the Parliamentary Archives, explained: “Most people have heard of Bonfire night and Guy Fawkes but the significance of it all is not always understood.”

“This project has given us the opportunity to use exciting ways of telling the story of the Gunpowder Plot on its 400th anniversary in a way that will hopefully engage people with parliamentary history and, indeed, Parliament itself. In doing so we have drawn on the resources held amongst the Parliamentary Archives and the Palace of Westminster collections as well as those held by other institutions for whose co-operation we are very grateful.”

Among the institutions that contributed material are The National Archives, the National Portrait Gallery, Lambeth Palace Library and The British Museum.

24 Hour Museum Editor, Jon Pratty said of the project: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the 24 Hour Museum to work with one of the most historic archives in the world using material which is absolutely fascinating and original.”

For further information, images or to arrange an interview with David Prior, Assistant Clerk of the Records, Parliamentary Archives or Dr Paul Seaward, Director of the History of Parliament Trust contact: Anra Kennedy, Head of Learning, 24 Hour Museum on 01273 820094.

Further Information:

1. 24 Hour Museum - http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk is Britain’s National Virtual Museum. It was set up in 1999 and is funded by the DCMS – through MLA – the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

The 24 Hour Museum database contains information on over 3,400 UK museums, galleries and heritage sites and currently attracts over 700,000 visitor sessions per month (average duration of visit 10 minutes). In a recent user survey over 85% of respondents said using the 24 Hour Museum made them more likely to visit a museum or gallery.

2. The Parliamentary Archives has custody of the archives of both Houses of Parliament, which date from 1497. These records are made available to the public for research, life long learning and leisure. For more information visit the Parliamentary Archives pages at http://www.parliament.uk or consult the online catalogue at: http://www.portcullis.parliament.uk.

3. The History of Parliament Trust is creating a major scholarly work of reference about the members and activities of, and elections to, the British Parliaments since their origins in the 13th century. It is funded by both Houses of Parliament. For more information visit http://www.history.ac.uk/hop.

4. mwr specialise in personalised digital learning, providing award winning online and interactive solutions which are engaging, fun and effective. Combining learning design expertise with innovative technology, they develop solutions ranging from a simple education resource to a complete pathway of digital learning. They can provide production tools enabling organisations to generate their own interactive Learning Objects and produce cost effective and professional resources. Visit their Website at http://www.mwr.biz

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Anra Kennedy
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