Engaging with Communications

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Archaeology of Communications

The exciting new development at MediaCityUK in Salford marks the latest transformation of this important area. With the creation of the Manchester Ship Canal this part of Salford became a thriving inland port feeding the world's first planned, and Europe's largest, industrial estate at Trafford Park. Now this area has further evolved to become a national centre for the digital media and broadcasting industries through the creation of MediaCityUK. This evolution reflects how technology such as the canals, railways, printing, radio, television, the Internet and now mobile phones, improves the way in which we communicate with one another and has and continues to transform our lives and the landscape in which we live.

But what physical evidence exists to tell this important story?

Forming part of the 2012 Manchester Histories Festival, this conference aimed to address this question with presentations from speakers who explored the archaeological impact of communications technology from early canals to today's digital revolution.

The conference was held on Saturday 3rd March 2012 and hosted at the University of Salford's MediaCityUK building. Videos of the opening welcome address and all six of the papers presented at the conference are now available and can be viewed below.

Programme and paper presentations

1. Welcome address

Professor Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor, University of Salford

2. Turnpikes, Canals and Railways

Mike Nevell, Director, Centre of Applied Archaeology, University of Salford

3. Telegraphy and Telephones

John Liffen, Curator, Science Museum, London

4. Manchester: Mass Media Hub?

Pauline Webb, Curator, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

5. Air and Sea Communications

Eric Grove, Professor of Naval History, University of Salford

6. Military Communications

Wayne Cocroft, Senior Archaeological Investigator, English Heritage

7. The Digital Age

Nigel Linge, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Salford

Organised by the Computer Networking and Telecommunications Research Centre and the Centre for Applied Archaeology at the University of Salford.

The conference was sponsored by the following . . .

University of Salford Logo British Computer Society Manchester Branch logo Pennine Telecom logo Talk Talk logo English Heritage logo The Institution of Engineering and Technology logo Openreach logo

and was delivered in association with the following organisations . . .

Manchester Histories Festival 2011 logo Museum of Science and Industry logo The Science Museum logo Association for Industrial Archaeology logo Connected Earth logo

Industrial Archaeology Review

Selected presentations from the conference have been published as full papers within a special issue of the AIA Industrial Archaeology Review Journal.

Industrial Archaeology Review Journal front cover

Volume 35, Issue No 1, 2013