Printed journal of the week is a new and occasional category. From time to time I will pick out one of the journals we actually get physically in the library here at Bangor University, as opposed to just telling you about electronic journals you can access over the net. I think it’s fantastic that so many library resources can be read online these days, but I also really like to sit down with an actual physical book or journal.
This week’s journal highlight is one I accidentally picked off the current journals shelf this morning, as I was giving a library tour to some very nice international students. In the Main Arts Library (on College Road in Bangor), the printed journals are kept downstairs, in a room called The Stack.
The journal turned out to be Interpretation Journal: The Journal of the Association for Heritage Interpretation, which is funny, as I actually did a Heritage Management postgraduate degree at Bangor a few years ago. The degree trained people to work in the heritage sector, which includes museums, castles, historic buildings, prehistoric monuments, and so forth. I really enjoyed the course, and heritage interpretation was one of my favourite sections.
Heritage interpretation is the information you find at heritage sites, such as panels, guidebooks and so on, and also online interpretation such as websites. I really enjoyed (as part of my course, rather than for actual use) designing some interpretation panels for a beautiful ruined Welsh castle above Llangollen, called Dinas Bran, which related the history and legends of the site from the point of view of the crows who lived there.
The current issue of the Interpretation Journal, Spring 2009, Vol 14, No 1, is themed “Words into pictures: the use of illustration in interpretation”, which is something I find very interesting, as pictures on information panels can often give much more instantaneous and comprehensible information than words can.
There are some great examples of this in the journal, including a cutaway drawing of the Great Tower at Ashby Castle, showing how different rooms might have been used in historical times; a very colourful panel showing the life cycle of butterflies for Bensham Butterfly Station; and a three dimensional pictorial map of Yellowstone National Park showing the mountains and lakes.
As an example of how obsessive you can become about good heritage interpretation, my dad recently took me to see a stone circle called the Nine Ladies, at Stanton Moor, and though the stones were really lovely, I got really excited by the information panels, which included a really nice illustration depicting how the area may have been used by people in prehistoric times.
If you want to have a look at the Interpretation Journal, call into the Main Arts library, and have a look at current and older issues down in the Stack. Printed journals cannot be borrowed, but a single article from a journal may be photocopied (according to copyright law). You can find details of the journal by searching in the library catalogue.