Searching for Shakespeare

Digital museum and artefacts

The Centre Of Archaeology at Staffordshire University had partnered with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to scan a number of artefacts from New Place, the home of William Shakespeare. They needed a website that would make these scans accessible and engaging to the general public on an extremely tight budget.

Project details

  • Client: Staffordshire University (UK)
  • Responsibilities: 3D photogrammetry, retopology, Website design, Website development, Wordpress development, HTML5, CSS3, LESS, Rendering, User Experience, User Interface, Laser scanning

Searching for Shakespeare: Problem Statement

William Shakespeare is one of England’s most iconic and influential historical figures.

New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon was his family home until his death in 1616 and has since become a site of significant historical value.

I joined Staffordshire University’s Centre of Archaeology to digitise a wide variety of personal arefects from the playwright’s life. Alongside this, I was hired create a unique website frontend that was consistent with the aesthetic approach of our previous collaboration.

  • Needs:
  • UX Strategy
  • unique website frontend
  • accessible content management system

Disclaimer: I was hired directly for this project via my own business.

A Centre of Archaeology initiative

Searching for Shakespeare is one of many projects operated by The Centre of Archaeology, based at Staffordshire University. I’d previously worked with the team to bring their Recording Cultural Genocide project to life and so thrilled were they with the results of that project, that just had to come back for me. Either that or they just find my personality an absolute treat…. nah.

This website was to be far more concise and focused. I’d assisted the team with scanning a number of personal artefacts from the life of William Shakespeare and they simply needed a space to share the results. Emphasis had to be placed encouraging interactivity with the various digitisations, which simplified the design process considerably.


  1. Understand: Determine the problem
  2. Research: UX needs, aesthetic
  3. Draft: User flow, responsiveness
  4. Prototype: high fidelity mockups
  5. Development: HTML5, LESS and WordPress integration
  6. Delivery
Preview of the website across devices
Mobile previews of the website
Desktop and mobile previews of the artefact page

3D scanning

A good website cannot exist without good content. The Centre of Archaeology team had access to a wide range of artefacts, each with their own distinct challenges when it came to digitisation.

Chief among these was size. Many of these items are less than a centimetre at their longest edge and so specialist scanning equipment was required.

The MechScan Macro 3D Scanner provided us with the perfect solution. In addition to being highly specialised toward scanning extremely small objects, the structured-light approach means that colour maps could also be captured. This resulted in us achieving highly detailed scans of objects that would otherwise have been prohibitive.

Disclaimer: This portion of the project was delivered via my position at Staffordshire University.

Laser scanning in progress with the MechScan Macro 3D Scanner
Laser scanning in progress with the MechScan Macro 3D Scanner

Visit Searching for Shakespeare

When you get time, please do visit the website to see my design work in action and interact with the various objects scanned during this project.

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