Bletchley Park Guides

Bletchley Park is a heritage centre based in South Central England. During the Second World War the Park was the location of the British Government’s Code and Ciphers School. Several historical events occurred at Bletchley Park at this time, including the invention of Colossus the first programmable computer. Since 1991 Bletchley Park has been open to the public as a heritage centre celebrating the innovative work done there in cryptography, computing and communications. A group of around 35 volunteer guides provide guided tours of the Park to visitors. The Bletchley Park Guides trial was aimed at supporting the community of tour guides to research the history of the Park and share their findings.

Community description

The primary role of the tour guides involves the provision of tours to visitors, conducting interviews with Bletchley Park wartime staff and their families, collecting newspaper articles related to the Park, and collecting and discussing new releases from the UK Public Records Office that shed further light on Bletchley Park’s wartime activities.

Activities

During the trial, the guides were able to access the forum either through their home computers or through a computer in Guides Room at the Bletchley Park Mansion House.

CIPHER tools

The Community Story Exchange (CSE) is a generic toolkit providing support for online storytelling in communities. CSE was developed during the first stages of the CIPHER project. The Bletchley Park Guides Forum was created using this toolkit.

The Bletchley Park Guides Forum provides access to guide profiles, stories, search, training materials and help. Each guide has their own password to enter the site. The most recent stories are shown on the left of the homepage under the heading Yearbook Articles. On the right of the homepage, the most recent news announcements are shown.

The Bletchley Park Guides Forum provides a directory where the guides can post their personal profiles and look at the profiles provided by other guides.

In the stories area, recent stories are displayed according to the categories specified by the guides. A story can be viewed by clicking on its title. A full list of stories for each category can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of each section.

Outcomes so far
  • 45 stories, mainly transcriptions of interviews, were contributed during the first trial. The story archive is in regular use by the guides.
  • 32 guides entered their personal profiles into the online guides directory.
  • The head and senior guides now use the CH Forum to disseminate news, events, and newly acquired historical documents.
  • To support the exploration of stories a Bletchley Park ontology was developed by KMi based on the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model. The ontology contains approx 120 concepts and 450 instances. 38 interview stories were described using this ontology.
Further information

Contact: Trevor Collins (T.D.Collins@open.ac.uk)

Powered By CIPHER Powered By CIPHER