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Heritage Lottery Fund backs the ISDS Sheepdog Archive

The ISDS Sheepdog Archive wins the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Project to build a Website to share knowledge about the Heritage of Working Sheepdogs.

10 TimLongton Nell 1951EngNatShepCh WetherbyThe ISDS is to receive £41,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project ‘Development of a Website dedicated to the Preservation of the Heritage of the Working Sheepdog’. This is 89% of the total eligible project cost of £46,900. It is a three year project, starting in June 2015. The project will be managed from North Yorkshire, by Kim Gibson, an ISDS Director, and will be delivered by an established group of freelance sheepdog writers and an estimated 100 existing and new volunteers across the UK. Led by volunteers in local areas, the project will focus on eminent sheepdog handlers and their dogs, and the lives of farmers and shepherds who work with sheepdogs. The intention is to reach as many people as possible to highlight that working sheepdogs are not just popular now, they have always been, and will always be an incredibly important feature of the UK’s heritage.

The project will enable volunteers, including young people, to explore the history of their own family as well as the histories of local farmers and shepherds who have worked with sheepdogs all their lives. There is a wealth of information to be collected from sheepdog handlers. Volunteers can receive training in both oral history (talking to people, interviewing, writing about people, etc) and digitisation (taking photographs, digital editing, recording, etc). The existing ISDS Sheepdog Archive will benefit from this active collection of oral history and reminiscence, and from the encouragement of the donation of documents, relevant newspaper articles, and photographs. The ISDS will host heritage displays at the Nationals and at the Internationals where further archive material will be collected. With the appropriate consents, material from both large and small private collections will be digitised. This website will create a platform from which to build a comprehensive on-line archive of useful material.

Do you want to know more about the handlers and dogs from the past? Would you like to be able to search for interesting information about a particular dog or handler? Do you have a family member who was skilled at working with sheepdogs, and you would like to know more about them? Who were the outstanding handlers in your local areas? What training tips and methods stand the test of time, and have been passed down from generation to generation? There are many questions asked every day, and in time, this project hopes to be able to facilitate the answers from the ISDS Sheepdog Archive. 8 WilliamOwenWatkins C1947 AberhydferTrecastle SharpandNell

'Commenting on the award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Judith Sheen, from the ISDS stated “The Society is absolutely delighted to have been awarded this heritage grant, it will ensure the preservation of the long and rich history of the working sheepdog for the future”. 

Explaining the significance of the award, Fiona Spiers Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said “Working sheepdogs are an iconic part of rural heritage in the UK and the relationship between working dog and its master has been an integral part of farming life for generations. This project will enable people to get involved, learn about and record this unique part of our heritage”.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 37,000 projects with more than £6bn across the UK including £470m to over 3,200 projects in Yorkshire & the Humber alone. @HLFYandH

This article first appeared in the International Sheepdog News July/August 2015 and on the ISDS Main Site.

funded by the national lottery

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