How To Use

The Public Renaissance website lets you explore early modern Deventer, Exeter, Hamburg, Trento and Valencia (with hopefully more cities to follow). It is designed to work in tandem with the HistoryCity family of apps, but the website is independent and contains many more sites and objects for each city.

The main entry point to the information is through our interactive map window where historic maps have been overlayed on a modern city map. You can jump straight into one of the cities and investigate the material culture of public space through the sites marked on the map, from book stalls to street shrines, taverns to sites of punishment. At each location you can find out more about “objects in this place”, ranging from drinking tankards to shop signs, suits of armour to cheap prints. You can also find out more about the historic maps themselves. 

We invite users to explore a city in detail through these objects and the brief texts that have been authored by our expert academic team, in collaboration with our museum partners.

In one of the website’s innovative features, you can also search across the five cities in the project. “Related places from other cities” suggests similarities across time and place based on the metadata we have attached to website entries and powered by a simple algorithm. We’re currently training the system to deliver effective comparisons, and we hope this system will become more useful as we add content to the website throughout the life of the project.

If you like the website try out our five city apps, available on the AppStore and GooglePlay. In the apps, all the same information is presented through the medium of mobile storytelling. In each city, a ‘contemporary’ character takes you from site to site, connecting places and objects together. You can do this on site – but also in “armchair mode” in the comfort of your own home! 

If you access the website from the app you will link directly to the object related to the site you are visiting. From there you can choose to start exploring more website content.

All the written content in this website has been produced as part of our research project and is a available to reuse under a CC BY licence

We suggest a citation format example here:

Kate Osborne, ‘Exeter Guildhall’, published online 2020, in ‘Hidden Cities’,

Please note that separate licence agreements apply for the images in the website and are indicated for each object/image. 

We hope you enjoy using both the website and apps!