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Buckinghamshire Archives bringing history home with ‘virtual festival’ for all ages

The popular annual history festival from Buckinghamshire Archives is going entirely online for 2020, with speakers from around the world lined up to provide a weekend of fascinating content. For the last few years the archives service has held a festival of history talks in the autumn. This year it will look a little different, with speakers appearing by video, podcast, blog articles, and on social media.

The virtual festival will be on the 12 and 13 ofSeptember, and will feature talks by Adrian Tinniswood on the Verneys of Claydon Manor, Ian Beckett on the Buckinghamshire Home Guard, and Jane Robinson on pioneering women professionals. All content will be available on the history festival website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Patrick Hogan, Cabinet Member for Culture, explained that adapting to the current situation has helped bring the festival into the 21st century; “The Archives team has been really innovative in bringing the event online in such a creative way.  Luckily lots of the speakers that are lined up are able to adapt to going online, and fans of previous Buckinghamshire history festivals will find the usual mix of local and national history that would usually be on the bill – but all from the comfort of their own homes. Next year we expect to be back in person, but this new online platform will open up our fascinating local history to a wider audience, which can only be a good thing.”

Katherine Gwyn, Senior Community Outreach and Projects Archivist, also commented on the opportunities for collaboration made possible by a virtual festival; “We’ve found this to be the chance we were waiting for to forge some new partnerships – not only do we have speakers from the US and Australia appearing via the magic of the web, but we have also been able to team up with other local organisations whose activities have been affected due to Covid. For example, the team behind WhizzFizz Fest – sadly cancelled this summer – has been on hand to get involved in the festival, bringing with them a new audience.”

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