I thought the community might like to know that I wrote a reveiw of this site on In a Minute Ago it reads:
There are a number of sites online that document the local history of an area. Most contain photographic material, which for a visitor half way around the globe is interesting to view. However I always want more of the story behind the image. Who were these people? How did they live? What did they do for entertainment? What did they eat? What are their local traditions? Questions plague me. Sometimes I will have a poke around our local library if my curiosity has been stirred enough. Usually however these questions go unsatisfied as simply run through my mind. Usually they are not answered on the site itself. Very often local history groups provide a brief paragraph or two or an overarching 'official' history, which for me is worse as it often not situated within the broader national narrative of history. So I am left with viewing local history out of context, often about a place I have only ever seen on a map.
The Lancashire Textile Project is not like this as it contains over 500 photographs and 190 transcribed tape recordings. I have been reading this site for half the week and still have not discovered all the stories. For me it is providing a glimpse into the life of the workers in the steam driven Weaving Industry in East Lancashire England. These oral histories record the memories of people who otherwise would not have had their stories appear in a mainstream overarching tale - meaning that their story would be hidden from history.
The driving force behind this site is Stanley Graham who has linked up with David O'Connor of One Guy from Barlick . At One guy, a community website, forums further enhance the depth of possible research. If you are curious about something you can join and simply ask a question. I am not an historian but I imagine that for anyone doing historical research this is a wet dream.
I think this is one of the best community websites I have seen but I do have one criticism of the One guy site. For a community based site the title is extremely individualistic which reads as a contradiction to anyone landing on the site from outside the community. One the whole however, the combination of historical research, local information, interactivity and accessibility is great. The linkage between the two projects far outweighs any criticism I have.
This is also an example of self publishing online providing a voice for local stories in global arena. On an economic front the site has made me want to pay a return to visit to an area that I have seen (a decade ago) but at the time was unaware of what it had to offer. So I am sure there are tourist dollars in ventures such as this.