What did the Romans ever do for us?

2017 was a year packed with exhibitions and events about Hadrian’s Cavalry. The Hadrian’s Wall Country consortium wanted this information to have a digital presence.

They also asked me to revamp their web Learning section to make it more helpful for students and teachers.

As the daughter of a teacher and a massive fan of history, I felt I could put myself in the shoes of students and teachers very easily. Also a previous project writing the Visiting section for Northumberland National Park meant I already had an understanding of the area.

Solution

This project was a mixture of revamping and migrating web content from the existing learning section and writing content from scratch for the Cavalry.

Creating the Cavalry section

The aftermath of several months’ of exhibitions was files of graphics, desciptions, leaflets and posters. Some were relevant, others referred to articles loaned by museums under specific copyright conditions and so had to be ignored.

I organised scores of Cavalry documents and images into logical pages including:

For the Turma! Cavalry in action page, there were very few photos that corresponded to the description of the re-enactment. Fortunately my graphic design skills meant I could screenshot images such as the Roman saddle from the YouTube video.

Rejuvenating the Learning section

For the Learning section, I put myself in the shoes of students and teachers. What questions did they need answering? What could help their homework the most?

I saved the project time by suggesting I make edits to a hidden Learning section. This could then be made live once approved by the consortium’s Education Group. We were pushing the content management system to its limits. So being able to convert graphics and even hand-code HTML all came in handy.

Results

I unearthed information hidden in Word documents to make the learning section more useful. Cross-referencing Hadrian’s Cavalry within existing pages gave it more cohesion.

“Helen was a joy to work with from start to finish. Her knowledge and understanding of websites – from content to content management systems –  was invaluable. Her clear communications with the project team made the whole process straightforward. Helen delivered exactly what we wanted and needed.” – Lisa Keys, Minerva Heritage

Best in Show

I’m particularly proud of the Hadrian’s Cavalry pages. I feel I’ve created a section worthy of these elite Roman horsemen.

Take a look:

Hadrian’s Wall Country: Hadrian’s Cavalry

Update: Holding a Roman saddle at the Eboracum Roman Festival in York 2019: