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HullCraft – 1 Year on

Project team

HullCraft and University Lead –  Joel Mills – Independent Minecraft Consultant and Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor at the University of Hull.

Archives Lead – Simon Wilson – (now University Archivist at Hull History Centre).

  • @HullHistoryNews
  • [email protected] (tel 01482 317506)


Current HullCraft Team –

  • Writing coordinator– Shellie Horst – Creative Writer  and Minecraft Player. @millymollymo
  • Building support – Aaron Harter – Minecraft builder and tester @SAFCxHarter



January 2014

  • UoH Archives awarded £32K to catalogue and promote the work of Francis Johnson (FJ) 

June 2014

  • Hull History Centre planning family activity sessions (to be held in August) to recreate the work of FJ to include drawing, painting and building using Lego.


HullCraft concept

June 2014

  • “…just wondering if you had considered setting up a Minecraft server to extend the building activities that go on in the physical world to the virtual world?” Joel Mills – TEL Advisor and Independent Minecraft Consultant in response to Simon’s appeal for Lego donations
  • Joel and Simon meet to share ideas and the concept of HullCraft is born. Joel is Minecraft/Website project lead
  • Joel created website and introduced digital badges to ‘gamify’ the experience of building the work from the archives.
  • Simon digitised plans from the FJ collection and added as PDF files for users to view.

August 2014

  • Handed out flyers at the summer Lego activities to encourage people to build something using their own copy of the game and to send us a picture – first people signing-up for HullCraft and engaging with the website persuade us to scale up!

September 2014

  • Joel begins development on a test server, to recreate the work of FJ and the Hull History Centre building in Minecraft.
  • Aaron Harter, a minecrafter from the online community helps build and test the server.
  • Bids for funding for a server and software are written by Joel and Simon
  • Website begins gaining users and submissions
  • Number of subscribers to the website is 12

Team Growth

October 2014

  • TEL funds 3 months of server hosting to get the server up and running as a pilot project.
  • Various worlds on the server are created and linked together to form HullCraft
  • Hannah Rice joins the HHC as a Transforming Archives Trainee.
  • The HullCraft Team build HHC and Francis Johnson buildings in the worlds.
  • Hannah and Joel build ‘Steve’ and ‘Creeper’ using old archive boxes ahead of Platform 2014
  • The first HullCraft flyers are designed and printed.


The birth of the Server

November 2014

  • Pilot server goes ‘live’
  • Joel presents at GLSIG Live Event, November 2014: University of Hull
  • HullCraft team exhibit at Platform 2014, the biggest independent gaming event outside of London.
  • Successful bid and £5k funding awarded from the Ferens Educational Trust to develop links with schools and teachers
  • Number of subscribers rises to 24 following the Platform event

Extending the reach of HullCraft

December 2014

  • Joel presents to the ALT winter conference in Edinburgh on “The Use of Minecraft in Higher Education and Assessment”
  • Article published on Play the Past: “HullCraft: Using Minecraft and Archives for Learning About the Past
  • Team prepares for Digital Utopias event in January

January 2015

  • Team present at Digital Utopias event at Hull Truck Theatre
  • Joel designed and delivered MOOC “Minecraft for Educators” with over 3000 enrolments. It runs for 6 weeks and featured HullCraft as a case study for engaging people with Archives and Minecraft
  • Number of HullCraft subscribers rise to 46

February 2015

  • Joel and Hannah presented at ALT/GLSIG, London. InFocus: Games, Gamification and Games based Learning.


First Workshop

March 2015

  • Joel and Hannah run first HullCraft workshop at Digital Arts Day in Birmingham. Article published on The Space (BBC and Arts Council England)  “Introducing HullCraft
  • Article published in a magazine for archivists “Archives and Minecraft“.


Archives focus

April 2015

  • Hannah takes HullCraft to the Northern Collaboration ‘Archives Learning Exchange’ at Heritage Quay, Huddersfield to show and discuss this element of the Centre’s engagement programme.
  • Hannah gives a poster session “Tricks and tips for digitising library and archive collections” at The D-Word in London. Download the poster


First Minecraft Convention appearance

May 2015

  • Joel showcases Game-based Learning pedagogies at the NetherMined Minecraft Convention in Tynemouth. HullCraft and other Minecraft Educational projects are presented alongside famous YouTubers like AshDubh, NettyPlays, AmyLee33 and LukeNitroDX.
  • Following NetherMined, HullCraft numbers rise again to 83


New developments for HullCraft

June 2015

  • The History Centre is one of 41 successful projects for the second Being Human festival to be held in November 2015. The project will combine research into Andrew Marvell with HullCraft as we host a Minecraft workshop to rebuild 4 landmark buildings from Marvell’s Hull


Attendance at Global Minecraft Conference

July 2015


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