PRESERVING THE PAST . . . . FOR THE FUTURE
I am amazed
sometimes when my work becomes significant. This happened a couple of
times recently. I was sitting in on an excellent talk about the life
of Robert Burns, when the distinguished speaker proudly began to tell
the audience about a government based web site having such a wonderful
historic documentation of Mauchline from old times. I am sure you can
imagine my consternation when a collection of ayrshirehistory.com images
were displayed alongside the rest of the slideshow, while credit was
openly given to an Edinburgh based concern. I questioned this in public,
and was doubly assured it was material from the government
based outfit. Later in the bar, I spoke to the speaker about ayrshirehistory.com,
which rang bells with the gentleman. The error has since been cleared
up, and was a genuine error.
(Kenny Baird, February 2006)
difference to the web pages as of mid April 2004, will be the new style
front end, and menu system. It should in theory mean easier navigation
of the site, as all or almost all pages are a mere click away from the
front page. A lot of work is still to be done, and as time permits,
it should eventually be done.
(Kenny Baird April 2004)
At last I have found the time to update the Website with an amazing on line slideshow of old Mauchline, over 300 new pages!! The images contained in the said show are mainly from the private collection of Willie Lyle. Willie has kept safe for over forty years, a collection of original glass negatives, which belonged to Mauchline minister, photographer and local historian, John Taylor Gibb. [1864 – 1948] The task to reproduce these images was by no means straight forward, and took many long hours in sometimes Baltic conditions. I therefore hope I can be forgiven if sometimes it seems there is little noticeable work being done to the site.
The original web site was designed around a screen size of 800 by 600, but in the case of the slideshow, I have used a screen size of 1024 by 768, to enable the maximum quality of the images to be portrayed. Some of the high res images on many of the over 1000 pages are also designed to fit nicely onto a screen of 1024 by 768. I know this makes it rather an awkward site, suiting both screen sizes, but it is unavoidable as technology advances.
Another long task is sorting out all the older images on the site which were used when the project was in its infancy. Initially most of the images were proudly displayed in an untouched, original faded and scarred state. In the last few years however most of the images have been cleaned, and touched up, and the effect is perhaps more realistic. With the collection of glass plates, the results have been described as awesome. The repairing of the original scans will take time, and therefore do not expect instant results. The web site is unfortunately a voluntary project, which takes up so much spare time.
(Kenny Baird Nov 2003)
been some dispute from time to time, that the credit for an image may
not necessarily be to the original collector. All images on this site
are credited to the donor of the material. Sometimes in separate collections,
the same image will appear. Usually the credit is given either jointly,
or to the owner of the image used, which would be the cleanest version.
Remember that the original photographer in many cases does not even
receive credit, and are generally unknown. The main concern is the fact
that by having the image on this archive web site, the image has been
preserved, in a non fading digital format.
This site was officially taken off line on Tuesday 24th April 01 by the former host, South Ayrshire Council. We would like to express our thanks to South Ayrshire for providing the server space for the last three and a half years.
Since Thursday June 15th, the site has been on line once more, thank you to the support of Ayrshire Electronic Community. Thank you to Councilor Smith for his help in arranging this. The technical side of this server seems to be extremely encouraging. The download speeds are far faster than the previous host.
This site is completely non-profit making and totally unviable as a commercial project, and therefore has to be supported by goodwill.
<ayrshirehistory.com> is now registered as the domain name. <ayrshirehistory.net> also takes you direct to the full address <www.e-ayrshire.co.uk/local/sornweb>. Thank you to sornmilk.com for their support in this department.
A lot of time has been spent in early 2001 making the layout a lot more uniform. Time has been spent repairing typing errors which crept in. This is what comes of working late into the wee sma' hours. Anyone who notices any other errors, inaccuracies, or would like to add information, please feel free to contact any of us. All contributions are welcome.
site went on line properly in early 1998, although a skeleton of the
current archive. The preparation work was started in 1997, before even
going on line.
This web site was originally constructed to make access available to as many people as possible, including anyone still using old software such as Windows 3.1 and old versions of Netscape. File names were originally kept to 8 letters or less, although now file names are much longer, and more descriptive, but always lower case. Some operating systems may be case sensitive. The desktop area was originally limited to 640 by 480, to cope with anyone who has an older & limited VGA monitor, but the common standard 600 by 800 and/ or 1024 by 768 is used throughout nowadays. Laptops and wider screen monitors have even higher res screens. All common screen sizes should be able to cope with the whole site.
some early browsers did not support frames, the main reason for having
none is simply so that images can be seen full screen. This is a site
of an archival nature. Frames reduce the size of the screen, and with
a small monitor, you can not afford any screen size reduction.
Response to this massive undertaking has been very good in the local area. The e mail support, and response in the guest book has also been superb. Read the guest book up to 2001 as one html file from here. More soon hopefully.