by Ann Gosse, Director of Culture, Sheffield City Council

Sheffield is an exceptionally strong cultural city with deep roots in metal production and a driving ambition for innovation and creativity. Sheffield is famous for pioneering stainless steel, the Crucible and Bessemer steel processes and renown for silver plate, silver and cutlery worldwide. Over the past few years the city has built upon its strong heritage and undergone massive transformation, with the most inspirational public realm designs of the Peace Gardens, Millennium Square and Sheaf Square.

The city has born famous actors, comedians, authors, artists and musical talent second to none. It is home to a large number of creative and cultural people who would not live anywhere else and who deliver an outstanding offer of community, regional and national festivals, performances and exhibitions. The city boasts, two professional football teams, the oldest football team in the world, top-class arts, museums and sporting facilities and events of both international reputation and fantastic local appeal.

The wider cultural context of Sheffield is of a quiet confident community, not one to shout or brag, but comfortable and cool. Sheffield culture is dynamic, shaped by people who participate, enjoy and create it. Materializing Sheffield captures the essence of this creating and shaping, exploring the interrelated nature of culture, the city and identity and provides a fascinating insight into how it has been, and can be, changed. I am delighted to recommend this innovative digital publication by the Digital Humanities Institute, which promises to be an on-going value resource of knowledge, observations and insight.