The Jura Time Machine

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Investigating how digital heritage initiatives could work for our island community

We think that the Isle of Jura is a very special place. The hunter-gatherers, the saints and the hinba people, the Norse, the people of the sea, the warriors, the people who lived off the land, and the people who followed them; all have left their trace here. Their standing stones and arrowheads, their language, their tombs and cups and caves and forts and furrows, their ruins, and our new homes... Through digital technology, we have a new ability to collate and present this history - existing research and audio recordings, family stories and genealogical fact, artists' impressions and illustrations - showing to the rest of the world a fascinating thin slice of human experience to accompany the permanent hills and huge wilderness that is Scotland's spectacular Isle of Jura.



The Jura Development Trust - together with the many members of the extended Jura community who contributed interviews, vox pops and transcriptions - have already delivered a successful oral history project. We want to make use of this collection and go further, repatriating other resources, embracing other disciplines (such as collectively writing about our past wiki-style) and reaching further back in time than the Jura Lives project was able to. 

We recognise that, because the island is unique and unspoilt, and because everyone has their own personal and even private version of the place, there are sensitivities to negotiate. We may not be able to reach a consensus about the value or wisdom of sharing information about our beloved home through the internet; we have to ask, 'Would it be good for Jura?' That is why we want to invest in this preliminary step before we try to actually launch one or other of the potential Jura Time Machines.

Our target at this stage is to raise £3000 so as to employ someone to conduct extensive community consultation and market research about our new ideas, and then, if we can demonstrate that Jura's community has enough appetite and capacity for a new heritage project, work up the necessary funding applications to turn our best ideas into reality.



Our ideas of what we could do, so far, are:

1. Make an attractive and sustainable online portal for some of Jura's heritage content, starting with curated excerpts from the Jura Lives oral history archive.

2. Build a wikipedia exclusively featuring Jura content, a 'Jurapedia', in conjunction with Aberdeen University student, our Italian friend Danilo Giglitto (hear from him in the video....) Provide training to turn as many people as possible into the Jurapedia's contributors and editors. 

3. Create a zero-impact mobile app for personal devices that gives the Jura we see before us a layer of augmented reality. This would draw on academic sources, national collections, research from archaelogical digs, older oral histories, vintage photographs and other materials that we have within the community. The app developer would work with children from Jura Primary School on the coding and design/animation elements.

4. Transform a disused phonebox into a tardis full of heritage content. 

5. Install a touchscreen computer in the Jura Care Centre so as to enable and promote increased online access to heritage resources. With training designed to raise computer confidence, especially among our seniors.

6. Take opportunities, such as anniversaries, to communicate Jura's deep cumulative heritage to a wide audience. Celebrate the island's legacy as a coherent community of exiles, natives, workers, arrivers, leavers, and lovers.



We want to do our best to safeguard the island's heritage.  We want to pass onto future generations an idea of, and a responsibility for, the unique qualities of life on the island. At this dawn of the digital age, we believe that we ordinary people, as a collective, have an opportunity to do this as never before. 

By donating here, you can help us to make sure that before we innovate, we have the mandate to do so, and before we execute, we are confident of making finished products with integrity that will do this extraordinary place and her people proud. 

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Get these rewards

£10 – A thank you on the wind

4 people want this

We'll say your name into the next Westerly wind, instantly scattering our gratitude near and far. It's not quite a fortune cookie, but hopefully it will mean good karma to you...!

£25 – A thank you in the sand

5 people want this

We will gratefully write your name in the beautiful sands at Corran, Jura, where it will stay until the next tide rises and smoothes it over again.

£50 – A thank you with a view

We will glorify your name in chalk (lightly!) on the trig point at Arfarnal hill in Jura, where it will stay until the next big rain washes it away

£200 – A thank you where humans scarcely tred

1 person wants this

We will find a spot in the hill, somewhere high in the heather and grass, and carefully mark out your initials in small stones, where they will lie until disturbed by the next passing deer or goat or explorer. It's sometimes said that nothing on the island disappears, so you could be up there for years...!

£500 – Our permanent gratitude

We don't know yet whether any of the measures that we're proposing will actually come to fruition, but if any do, one of them will include an acknowledgement of your generous support at this stage. This could mean you are listed on a website, or have a corner of the Craighouse tardis, with all our futureproof thanks.

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