Help create unique new digital map of Exeter at special city event

Citizens of Exeter can help create a unique new digital map of the city containing their special memories.

Staff at the University of Exeter want help from Exonians to put together the new document at an event next month.

The aim is to chart the places that have personal meaning to the people who live in, work in or visit the city.

The event, held as part of the Being Human Festival, is organised by staff at the University of Exeter’s Special Collections department, home to some of the region’s most important documents and publications. It will be held at the Royal Devon and Exeter Institution on Saturday, 12 November.

People will be able to discover how Exeter has been mapped over the past 500 years through a display of historic maps from the Royal Devon and Exeter Institution and high-quality copies of maps held in the University of Exeter’s Special Collections dating from the 16th to the 20th century.

This includes maps and street plans of Exeter from the 1940s and the 1980s.

Researchers will be available to discuss the maps and visitors can find out how they are digitised between 10 and 12:30pm. People can place a virtual “pin” in digital maps and leave a note to say why that location is important to them.

Staff from Special Collections are also running similar sessions in older people’s social and community groups around Exeter, where they will also collect memories and pin them to maps. They have also produced a toolkit for teachers so they can run activities in lessons using the maps.

Dr Sarah-Jayne Ainsworth, from the University of Exeter, who is running the event, said: “We are looking forward to showing these fascinating maps to visitors in the stunning location of the Royal Devon and Exeter Institution. We want to collect all sorts of memories associated with memories – people may have lived in that location or played there. Eventually we will have a very special digital map with those information – anonymised of course – available for people to browse online.”

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