Digitising Vindolanda’s Wooden Collection project receives Designated Development Fund award from Arts Council England.


The Vindolanda archaeological deposits, some of which have anaerobic conditions, result in the outstandingly good preservation of both organic and inorganic materials. Such conditions are very rare in Britain and at Vindolanda they provide the most vivid picture of life on the Roman frontier, for virtually everything that was left behind by the Roman occupants survive in good condition, including the normally perishable items like leather, textiles, wooden objects, flora and fauna.

With a generous grant of £82,000 from the Designated Development Fund the Vindolanda Trust will be able to employ a full-time digitisation project officer for two years who will utilise the latest digital technology to record, research and then share the Vindolanda objects in their digital form. The project will create further opportunities for volunteer engagement and public enrichment and enjoyment of the wooden collection through interactive museum sessions as well as online sharing, conferences and workforce development.

Barbara Birley, Vindolanda Curator commented “We are thrilled to have received this Arts Council England grant. At a site like Vindolanda, the ability to document, archive and retrieve as much information as possible for each object is paramount as every object has its own unique story to tell.”

“This grant will not only allow us to continue to record and develop the best understanding of the wooden collection but it will also enable a new volunteer project, solidify partnerships with other organisations and help us share those stories with the visiting public.”

The Vindolanda collection is the largest site- specific collection of its kind in Britain and gives the people of today a deeply personal connection with the lives of those who lived at Vindolanda 2000 years ago. While the most famous of these artefacts are the Vindolanda ink on wood writing tablets it is the whole wooden object collection, currently numbering c 2500 acquisitions, that offers a much wider and complimentary opportunity to access, study and enjoy the detritus of everyday Roman frontier life. The Vindolanda Trust’s Digitising Vindolanda’s Wooden Collection will provide the Trust with the capacity to advance the cataloguing of their unique Roman wooden collection, making it accessible for on-going research.

For further information or hi-res photographs please contact:

Sonya Galloway,

The Vindolanda Trust, 01434 344277

[email protected]



Notes to Editors

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk


The Vindolanda Trust

The Vindolanda Trust is an independent archaeological charitable trust, founded in 1970. The Vindolanda Trust does not receive any annual funding and relies on the visitors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum to fund its archaeological, conservation and education work.

Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum are both situated in the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, Roman Vindolanda is just to the north of the village of Bardon Mill and the Roman Army Museum is next to the village of Greenhead.

Roman Vindolanda is regarded as the most exciting archaeological site in Europe with its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations. Vindolanda is home to the world famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets, voted as Britain’s top archaeological treasure by the British Museum; these thin hand written wooden notes have revealed an astonishing amount of first-hand information from the people who lived at this site 2000 years ago.



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