Abstracts Listed Below in Alphabetical Order Based on (Main) Speakers’ Surnames
Is there a tradition of women’s independent moving image practice? An exploration of practice and archive as social history
The presentation will explore the new Women’s Independent Moving Image Archive content and address the social and political implications of the construction of this archive within the context of knowledge construction and educational impact. While much research has been done in the area of women’s engagement with moving image, as actors, scriptwriters and producers, little research has been done to examine women’s role in independent moving image production. Through practice, I am creating an online archive of women’s independent moving image, helping to define women’s contribution to the moving image industry and providing a resource for others to use. It is relevant to young women’s diverse education to have access to material that contextualises their own practices. My research objectives are to examine women’s independent moving image, investigate its social history and place it within the field of other revisionist feminist art and media projects. By archiving material and applying contemporary theoretical frameworks to their analysis, what can be learnt about women’s independent filmmaking over time? Women appear in the written histories, in the documents that record their activities and endeavour, but the separating out of women’s practices has not been done. This extrication and archiving allows an analytical approach based on a feminist reevaluation of the records, it questions the construction of the canon and provides material that can be examined from a gendered perspective, the way women have used materials, techniques and processes to articulate their perspective through moving image. In this way the archive helps to define knowledge in this area, whilst simultaneously providing access to resources that will influence future practices.
Brigham, Lianne, Brigham, Richard, Furness, Paul and Graham, Helen
York: Living with History – how ‘archives’ and ‘storytelling’ might link to heritage decision making
The idea germinated in a research drop in we held at York Explore Library early in 2013 and was borne from frustration: the frustration of wanting to get into buildings slated for demolition to document them but being ‘passed from pillar to post’ between organisations and different members of staff. But then from an inspired conversation, the idea of the public playing an active role in taking photographs and building public documentation started to emerge. York Past and Present facebook group have recently being trying that out with the Guildhall in York, the city’s historic civic building. Through the Living with History research project we’ve also been experimenting with linking pasts, presents and futures – through sharing archive photographs, storytelling and argument-making – to explore how participatory approaches might feed into any future decision about Stonebow House, a brutalist building in York. In this paper we will share what we’ve learnt and what we’re hoping to do next.
The York: Living with History project is one strand of wider research project, ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’ which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Cabanes, Jason and Valdez, Violet
On professional principles and problematic relationships: When journalists and advocacy groups collaborate
In this presentation, we look into the perceptions that journalists and advocacy groups have about their professional roles and explore how this might impact on how they might collaborate with each other. Using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) framework, we reflect on the case of Panglantaw Mindanao (trans.Mindanao Perspectives) (PM), the Philippine component of the broader Press Freedom 2.0 project run by a consortium of media and media-related NGOs based in the Netherlands. The PM project aimed to train and bring together photojournalists from the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to produce multimedia stories that represented diverse voices there, including those of advocacy groups, whilst upholding professional standards. Drawing primarily on a focus group discussion and in-depth interviews with the journalists and advocacy group workers participating in PM, we reveal how these two groups had strongly entrenched ideas about their own and their project partners’ roles and that, crucially, this remained unchanged throughout the time we were conducting fieldwork. We also point out how these strong ideas that the journalists and advocacy group workers had about each other led to an estranged kind of relationship between them. This, in turn, meant that each of the two groups found it difficult to be open to each other’s potential contributions to PM, which unfortunately had an impact on the fulfillment of a number of the project’s goals. We then end with a reflection on the mitigating steps that might be taken by similar future projects and, equally important, also give a preview of how these steps are now being implemented in the new mobile newsroom project that has succeeded PM.
Capstick, Andrea and Ludwin, Katherine
Memories on film: Digital storytelling with people in residential dementia care
Memories on film is the outcome of an 18-month study funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s School for Social Care Research. Based on the principles of Participatory Video (Milne et al 2012), the study used digital storytelling and co-production techniques to create short films with 10 participants in a Leeds dementia care facility. Choice of images and narrative content were decided by the participants, who were aged between 76 and 99 years, and had lived in Leeds for most if not all of their lives. Almost all of them decided to tell the story of their own early life and its defining events, and the participants’ own voices, both speaking and singing, feature on the soundtrack to their films. We made extensive use of local history websites, and archives such as Leodis, when putting the films together. We were particularly keen to find out whether the creation of digital stories with this group of people – who can experience isolation and marginalisation – would help to increase their social participation. As a result we are now interested, not only in discussing the film-making process and the study outcomes, but also in identifying opportunities to have the completed films hosted by other websites and community groups. The summative focus groups for the study identified a number of potential uses for the films, including inter-generational work with schools, staff development initiatives, and raising public awareness.
Carletti, Laura and Blum, Jesse
Participatory Design as a Driver for Long-Term Community Engagement
In 2015, the Theatre Royal Nottingham (UK) will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, having first opened its doors in September 1865. This is a major landmark for Nottingham and the ideal time and catalyst to explore the venue’s past and engage the city and its residents with its performance heritage. At present, there is a large amount of records available related to the history of the Theatre Royal Nottingham. However, an archive has not been developed yet, and there is the need of establishing a system to organise the records and ultimately making them accessible on-site and online to the public and the researchers interested in exploring it. Beyond that, there is an interest in designing and developing a community-driven and community-contributed archive. This archive will allow understanding, preserving and enriching the history and the integrity of the Theatre Royal, and co-constructing the memory of the building by creating a bridge between information and the community. The value of involving the public in the design and development of interactive systems is widely acknowledged, and a rich literature on participatory design has been produced by the Human-Computer-Interaction research community. However, it is essential to acknowledge that participation goes beyond the involvement of the participants as informants in design. Participation is an ongoing engagement and should aim for learning and long-term empowerment of the people involved. Community participation in the design of interactive systems can represent the first step to assure a dynamic and permanent commitment. In this work, we present the results of a participatory process involving 38 people in the design of an online archive for the Theatre Royal Nottingham.
Memory Box Stories: from a digital inclusion project to a global digital storytelling app
This presentation will explore the journey from managing a publicly-funded digital storytelling and inclusion programme to privately investing in the development of a global digital storytelling application, sharing the lessons learned. Arguably the biggest issue faced was that of sustainability – how can we ensure that these stories become the foundation for an ever-growing archive, and how can we simplify the story creation process post-project?
Product History and Development
In 2012, we set about engaging elderly members of the community in Newcastle with technology through digital storytelling. We then embarked on a period of research and prototyping, expanding our in-house expertise to develop our own app, Memory Box Stories – a global digital archive and story creation tool used by people throughout the world. Our simple, accessible design gives communities and individuals a voice and a platform to share that voice.
Examples of practice
We work with organisations internationally, helping them to tell their communities’ stories, including:
• Center for Digital Storytelling, USA – using Memory Box Stories for facilitation and content creation.
• IPPR North, UK – exploring how a story app is used to create conversations and discuss social policy and research.
• Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, UK – developing an app to facilitate community participation
Future Sustainability – Our Business Model and Development Philosophy
Our philosophy is to listen, learn and incorporate feedback into our work. To continue to grow and develop digital products that facilitate engagement and inclusion, we decided to capitalise on the Memory Box Stories app and our in-house expertise to develop our first product, Narrative. Narrative replicates the app’s technology, rebranding it for other organisations. This provides an accessible solution for organisations keen to engage their audiences in their work through technology and storytelling.
Press Play/Record; Audio Cassette Preservation and Archiving
This paper investigates the opportunities and challenges facing the digital archiving of analogue audio cassettes, using work currently being undertaken by the Birmingham Centre For Media and Cultural Research as a case study. The Digital Preservation Coalition claim that 85 per cent of sound content is still stored in analogue form and is therefore at risk from physical degradation and the obsolescence of relevant playback equipment. This threat has prompted the Birmingham Centre For Media and Cultural Research to embark on an ambitious program to digitise thousands of audio entries submitted to the New York Radio Awards, mostly on cassette format, which span the decade from 1994 to 2004. This audio represents a unique collection of international radio documentaries and features, which were initially archived by Tim Crook, Head of Radio at Goldsmiths University and visiting Professor of Broadcast Journalism. Many of these recordings now only exist on cassette format and are therefore ‘lost’ to the wider public. Crook entrusted this collection to the Radio Department at Birmingham City University, who have begun the preservation, archiving process with assistance from University students studying radio documentary. By discussing the University’s approach to archiving this valuable audio, the paper will examine wider issues regarding the conservation of analogue artefacts in the digital age, along with methods of constructing media archives and the provision of public access to audio collections. The innovative manner in which students have been utilised to assist with this archiving project will be revealed, along with preliminary work into the on-line distribution of the collection to a community of radio professionals and academics. Comparisons will be made with other similar successful on-line audio archiving projects that have influenced this initiative. The central theme of this paper will be the recognition of audio cassettes, or “tapes”, as a valuable, yet under appreciated, format in terms of capturing meaningful audio history – and investigates practical approaches to ‘rescuing’ this content before it becomes unsalvageable.
Preserving and Sustaining Popular Music’s Material Culture
Websites relating to cultural heritage, community archives and everyday histories are proliferating online, democratising our understanding, approach and access to traditional history and archive collections. The archives are created, curated and populated by activist archivists who employ participatory methods such as user-generated (UGC) and crowdsourced digital content to build, preserve and share collections.
Popular music archives, heritage and histories are emerging from these diverse set of practices, exhibiting a prodigious variety of reference points and modes of memory making. These practices point to the value of popular music in the everyday lives of individuals and communities.
In this paper I will explore how, alongside the collection and sharing of music and of associated artifacts, the archive is manifest in the nature of the collective memory forged in online interactions which involves an ongoing negotiating and working through of the significance of venues, individuals, bands and moments the personal and shared pasts.
I’ll then move on to discuss sustainability in digital archives namely: what happens to content uploaded by activist archivists in online community music archives which are forcibly closed down because of IP infringement or posted to sites such as You Tube and Facebook who, as Garde-Hanson (2009) has argued, may seek to exploit such content for financial or ideological gain? Secondly, such is the rapid change in new technologies, are current digital archiving formats in danger of becoming obsolete in the near to mid-term, placing in danger huge amounts of the material culture of popular music’s past?
Sign language narratives online: How to make them accessible
A modern linguistic corpus (e.g. the British National Corpus of English) is a large collection of language data (with associated metadata) that is in machine-readable form, is maximally representative (as far as is possible) of the language and its users, and can be consulted to study the type and frequency of constructions in a language. Corpora are increasingly important resources for studying the language and culture of many languages, including sign languages. We discuss two such sign language corpora here. The British Sign Language Corpus consists of spontaneous and elicited British Sign Language (BSL) data collected from 249 Deaf signers from 8 key regions across the UK. The Corpus NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands) consists of dialogues from NGT 92 deaf signers from 5 regions across the Netherlands. Both corpora contain a variety of registers recorded in dialogue settings, including a spectrum from highly interactive discussions to near-monologue narratives, and from naturalistic to elicited signing.
In addition to benefits for linguists, there are also potential benefits to local communities through the creation of corpora. Corpora provide an important means of recording narratives and other culturally important uses of language for posterity. This is particularly important for languages which are endangered; due to advances in medical technology and changes in Deaf communities, most sign languages fit into this category.
In this presentation, we explore the benefits and challenges of producing an ‘open access’ sign language corpus, and implications of this for others working with video data. We also explore the benefits of such open access for local communities, including for language documentation and language teaching and learning, and the implications of this not just for sign languages but for spoken/written languages as well.
The Family Archive: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions
Many families possess a ‘family archive’; documents, photographs, heirlooms, scrapbooks, recipes and a range of other items that reveal insights into past generations and preserve family stories for future ones. They may never have thought of their collections as ‘archives’, but by retaining and preserving possessions kept in shoeboxes, under beds, on top of wardrobes and in garages, people use these items to mould a sense of family identity.
The AHRC-funded Family Archive project, which will commence in late 2014, explores the concept of the family archive through time, considering what, how and why families have archived personal items for private purposes. Making use of both historical case studies and contemporary focus groups, the project team are investigating how the family unit makes conscious use of curated possessions – including documents, images, objects and other materials – in order to develop a familial identity based on past and present generations, and how this is transmitted to future family members.
A key objective of the project is to encourage and enable members of the public to think of themselves as curators and question their own approaches to family history and family archives, and the effects these have on their identity. It is also designed to help archives, museums and other heritage organisations to engage with the communities they serve, and to better understand those communities, their interests in heritage and family history, and their personal archival/curatorial practices. In this presentation the project team will introduce the project, sharing its aims and initial findings.
Dunford, Mark and Watson, Mark
Finding a Thread: Understanding Digital Storytelling with Support Workers and Young People
Different authors address digital storytelling in different ways. It can be a means to express vernacular creativity (Burgess, 2006), a research method (Gubrium, 2009), a form of personal creativity (Lambert, 2013) or a means of preserving a community’s identity (Klaebe et al, 2007). In each scenario, the workshop based collaboration forms the narrative, as storytellers develop it from the silence of the personal photograph via a collective experience. Digital stories are singular, audio visual accounts of an individual’s story, yet – the making of them is shaped by the shared workshop experience. Each story shows how someone envisages their own place in a personal and public world. Stories can bridge the past, present and the future. The workshop experience combines therapeutic and representative elements.
Our research draws on Digital Storytelling Workshops with managers of youth workers and young people from SAHA Foyers across England. It is based on two Focus Groups, a series of interviews with the support workers and an on line survey of all participants. It explores:
1. Why these people chose to tell particular stories;
2. The significance they see in an opportunity to speak, be seen and heard;
3. The role of creativity as a means to preserve or assert identity;
4. The constraints of the Digital Story form;
5. Whether storytellers saw their digital stories as part of a body of work created by a particular community of people.
We will investigate patterns of motivation across the group of stories to aid understanding of shared and individual narrative impulses. In doing this, we will consider how the form of the Digital Story provided a space for people to speak while simultaneously limiting their voice.
Burgess, J. 2006. Hearing Ordinary Voices: Cultural Studies, Vernacular Creativity and Digital Storytelling in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 20(2): pp.201-214.
Gubrium, A. 2009. Digital Storytelling: An Emergent Method for Health Promotion Research and Practice, in Health Promotion Practice, 10(2): pp 186-191.
Klaebe, H., M. Foth, J. Burgess, and M. Bilandzic. 2007. Digital Storytelling and History Lines: Community Engagement in a Master-Planned Development, in Proceedings 13th
International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM’07), Brisbane. Lambert, J. 2013. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. Routledge. Kindle Edition.
Poletti, A. (2011) Coaxing an intimate public: Life narrative in digital storytelling. Continuum, 25 (1) 73-83
Thumim, N. (2012), Self Representation and Digital Culture. Palgrave Macmillan.
Ellis-Paine, Angela, Hughes, Kahryn, Jochum, Veronique, Middleton, Bo, Neale, Bren and Proudfoot, Rachel
Creating and Using ‘Big Rich’ Data for Voluntary Sector Communities: The technical and scientific development of the Timescapes Archive
This symposium explores findings from an ESRC funded knowledge-exchange project: Changing Landscapes for the Third Sector. The project aimed to enhance evidence on voluntary sector organisations by archiving and re-using a small collection of qualitative longitudinal (QL) datasets on voluntary sector practice. This work builds on an earlier ESRC funded project (Timescapes: Changing Lives and Times) which created a specialist archive of QL Datasets, the Timescapes Archive, hosted by the University Library. Underpinning the Timescapes Archive is the premise that creating, linking and sharing rich, dynamic, cumulative data can be an integral part of research – a process harnessed creatively to particular research endeavours, rather than an administrative activity ‘tacked on’ to the end of projects. Taking archiving into the world of research relies on close collaborations in the creation, organisation, discovery and use of data: in this case between researchers (Universities of Leeds and Birmingham); community users (voluntary sector organisations) and data teams (University of Leeds Research Data Management Team).
Connecting the Disconnected: Co-Designing Socially Inclusive, Integrated, Archival Access Networks
Over the past two decades a number of inquiries into Australian communities facing identity, memory and accountability crises – Stolen Generations, Former Child Migrants, Forgotten Australians and Forced Adoptions – have highlighted the dysfunctional and fragmented nature of archival access systems. They have documented the damage these systems can inflict on members of these communities looking for records to make sense of past experiences, re-connect with family, assert rights and seek redress. While now well aware of these problems, and despite a range of individual projects being undertaken, we are yet to see substantive and sustained progression of the integrated access networks the inquiry reports have recommended. The lesson we have learned from responses to date is that we can only get so far if we attempt to just tack this kind of community engagement and participation onto existing archival frameworks. It is perhaps not so surprising given the technology (paper), the audience (principally academic researchers) and the times (information scarcity) they have been designed for. Fundamental reform requires a fundamental re-think of how archival systems are designed, for whom and by whom. In July 2014 the Australian Research Council, under their Future Fellowship scheme announced funding for a four year research program to tackle these challenges. The Connecting the Disconnected research program will through a series of co-design workshops and related research activities develop a participatory archival design methodology to deliver improved archival access and other record-keeping services to communities experiencing identity, memory and accountability crises. The aim is to harness new digital and networking capabilities, rich record-keeping metadata, and the expertise of impacted communities in order to develop systems configured around community information, self-knowledge and memory needs and contribute to transformative changes in archival access and other record-keeping services.
Digital Outreach and Digital Preservation: Case Studies from Parliament
This presentation will look at the Parliamentary Archives’ progress in digital outreach and digital preservation, paying particular attention to the creation of the Parliament Web Archive and the Archives’ @parliamentww1 twitter feed. Digital outreach has become a core method of engaging new audiences and raising the profile of archive organisations. The advent of the centenary of WW1 beginning in 2014 has created opportunities for archives to tell narratives about the Great War, and in doing so on social media, contribute to a wider collaborative narrative which illustrates the ways in which the war affected everyone. The Parliamentary Archives latest twitter feed, @parliamentww1, explores the ways in which WW1 affected both the community in Parliament and society as a whole through the telling of both individual, institutional and collective stories. Alongside this social media work, we have also digitised archive materials.
Parliament’s Web Archive provides access to previous versions of the parliamentary website and related websites. Web archiving forms one facet of the wider digital preservation work currently being undertaken across Parliament. A broad range of web resources are archived, including in-depth curation of parliament.uk, official social media feeds such as Twitter and YouTube, and external and legacy websites. In terms of scholarly use and wider public access, web archives are still in their infancy. Consequently, the Parliamentary Archives is currently engaged in a number of initiatives to enhance interaction with Parliament’s Web Archive. This presentation will expand on these initiatives and demonstrate that digital outreach and preservation can play a pivotal role in facilitating connectivity and building a set of lasting legacies. Through these case studies, we will explore the use of digital technologies and methodologies as a way of developing further access and awareness of our collections beyond the physical constraints of the reading room.
‘Digi-tool’ archiving of the future community
This presentation will deliver findings and experiences of a University, Rural Community Council and community partnership project called Community21. As a co-designed platform Community21.org provides a range of ‘digi-tools’ for communities to engage in mapping and sharing data and experiences of social action to enable open-archives of neighbourhood development. It also explores how co-designed accessible technologies can help cross the generational and geographic borders between different sections of the community and neighbouring communities in the context of ‘envisioning’ their future. This sits within the context of radical changes in the UK National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2011) and the Localism Bill (DCLG 2011), which demand new levels of democratic participation in local decision-making and the collaborative design and understanding of place. The platform facilitates ‘grass-roots’, statutory development programmes (neighbourhood plans) which stimulates the documenting of community archives mediated through open, ‘wiki-GIS’, animated and characterised digital stories and visions – shared between communities as active, ‘multi-local’ societies (De Rita and Bonomi 1998, Manzini 2007). The paper will present evaluated, hybrid digital / physical repositories and archives including ‘augmented-reality, community tapestry’ (talking tapestry), animated storytelling (talking heads) and virtual environments (talking towns) that model collaborative visions for the neighbourhood. It will demonstrate how these can mediate between the narrow social profile of stakeholders and decision-makers and young people’s visions for the future in which they will live. (Bachen, Raphael, Lynn, McKee & Philippi 2008; Carpini 2000; Gant, Duggan 2013).
Documenting Community Heritage: 20 years On the Ground /Eastside Community Heritage
Over the past 20 years Eastside has worked with over 10000 individuals, 900 organisations, produced 85 exhibitions, published 17 booklets, 30 video documentaries and undertaken a total of over 300 community heritage based projects. In 1999 Eastside establish the London Peoples Archives which now hold over 2000 oral histories and 28000 photographs. Much of the organisation’s work relies on intergenerational and intercultural practice.
Our methodology incorporates education and training, with schools, families and adult learners. Eastside’s products namely the exhibitions, publications and multimedia stimuli are an opportunity for all cultures and age ranges to engage in a proactive discovery of their own and their community’s history, culture and heritage.
This paper will explore a variety of different projects that ECH has worked on over the past 20 years, comparing and contrasting – how oral history can enable an understanding between communities, work with new communities, young people, volunteers and in different community spaces. Specifically the presentation will include video and sound clips of interviews from agencies and individuals who have campaigned for equality, and also the challenges of working with many different communities to preserve and document their histories.
In sharing the histories of such ‘grass roots’ movements and their unique histories, we shall aim to show exactly how oral and community history can be used as an aid to community development and organising.
Garnett, Fred and Whitworth, Andrew
Participatory Curation; A model for integrating curation and the story-telling of communities
In the MOSI-ALONG project, funded as part of a JISC community content creation initiative, we intended that “the development of participative curatorial strategies” would be a key element of engaging our museum partner with its potential community. Despite the fact that our museum partner was concerned with the history of economic development in Manchester, we could not provoke its interest in using its collection as a stimulus whereby people could tell their personal economic histories of life in Manchester. The museum saw their “community” solely as potential customers. Consequently the project was re-designed around two key elements. Firstly, the use of new metaphors to help people think about history in ways that could enable new stories to be told; digital cabinets of curiosity. Secondly, and our focus in this presentation, the development of the Aggregate-then-Curate model (published by Research into Learning Technologies), a way of perceiving the steps involved in the creation of relevant and good quality online learning resources that have been created and then curated in a participatory, socially inclusive way. Aggregate-then-Curate, inspired by Nina Simon’s “Participatory Museum”, has resulted in developing new techniques for broadening the engagement of public heritage and educational institutions, and involving them in the creation of learning pathways, in partnership with communities.
We will look at ways that creativity and innovation can develop both co-curation models (with a learning dimension) as well as Partnership models between communities and institutions
Aggregate-then-Curate: how digital learning champions help communities nurture online content Andrew Whitworth, Fred Garnett, Diana Pearson http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/18677
Principles of Digital Data Recording and Cataloguing: Irish Record Linkage 1864-1913
Irish Record Linkage 1864-1913 (the IRL project) is a collaborative project developed in partnership with the Digital Repository of Ireland, the University of Limerick and Insight at NUI Galway. This project combines the skills of digital archivists, knowledge engineers and historians to construct a state of the art Linked Data and ontology based analysis platform for historical big data, in order to research infant and maternal mortality in nineteenth century Dublin. This paper will outline the role of the archivist in digital archives projects such as IRL, and will examine the nature of the digitised archival record in the context of data-focused projects.
The core dataset for the IRL project comprises digitised images of birth, death and marriage indices and registers generously provided by the Irish General Register Office. In order to facilitate the creation of the Linked Data platform, the records were prepared and digitally curated in line with the research aims of the project. This process required the digital archivists to approach the archival record from a person-focused perspective, cataloguing individuals and their life events as well as the register page. A key concern in the development of the project’s methodological framework was the maintenance of the authenticity of the record, and the preservation of links which allow the data to be viewed in its original archival context.
The role of the professional archivist changes in the context of digital projects, particularly in an interdisciplinary, collaborative project such as IRL. While traditional archival principles still abide, fundamental concerns such as authentication of records become increasingly complex in the digital age. This paper will outline the approach taken by the digital archivists to this digitised dataset, discussed in the broader context of ethics and authenticity for digital archives.
Facilitating connectivity: reducing copyright-related barriers to sharing
The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is an interactive, Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) for social and cultural content held by Irish institutions. As a national digital infrastructure, the DRI is working with a wide range of institutional stakeholders and communities to link together and preserve Ireland’s rich and varied digital collections. This paper will focus on the issues encountered by the project team regarding intellectual property, copyright and licensing while building a repository which does not own the rights to the digital content it holds; and present some of the solutions put in place to address this challenge. We will also address the difficulties inherent in formalising legal procedures for a TDR which is not in itself a legal entity.
The key challenge is linked to DRI’s remit to interact with communities that are often varied in their approaches to rights administration, and who cannot always commit to publishing openly licensed digital content and metadata. Processes and legal agreements needed to be put in place by DRI and DRI’s parent institutions to ensure that depositors maintain responsibility for providing online access to content and applying a licence; workflows are in place to ensure that breaches in copyright are dealt with appropriately.
In order to address these barriers, a team came together as a focused IP Taskforce, which included digital archivists and librarians, software developers and requirements and policy personnel, as well as expert legal advice. This team carried out a body of work to scope the various copyright issues within the DRI community and create policies and legal documentation that reduce barriers to depositing digital content with DRI and help connect diverse collections. This paper will outline the work undertaken by the Taskforce to create the necessary policies, workflows and documentation to comply with current Irish and EU copyright legislation.
Green, Jessica and Simpson, Toby
Bringing Britain’s National Holocaust Archive into the Digital Age
This contribution to the Conference will discuss the steps that the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is taking to develop its online content and digital collections in order to remove barriers to collections access and reach audiences outside of London. As part of the Outreach Team, Dr Toby Simpson, Learning and Engagement Manager, and Jessica Green, Digital Curator, are leading efforts to establish an infrastructure for storage and preservation of digital collections, identifying and prioritizing materials for digitisation and inclusion in digital projects, and providing access to them through innovative and interactive means in a digital setting.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Wiener Library was able to redevelop its website in 2012 and plans to launch its first digital project in Autumn 2014 – a map of Europe with geo-tagged scanned materials from the Library’s archival collections of Refugee Family Papers. The new digital resource will allow users to see highlights from our collections in an interactive interface and give them the opportunity to fill in some of the gaps
of information through crowdsourcing efforts. Over the next several years, the Wiener Library plans to develop its digital and online holdings, both through digitisation efforts and acquisition and cataloguing of born digital materials. In this presentation, Dr Toby Simpson and Jessica Green will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of building a digital archive and making this content available for searching and browsing online, including issues of copyright, digital preservation, and the sensitive nature of the Library’s holdings and subject matter. The panelists will discuss how these issues are being addressed through the development of a digital policy and digitisation strategy, as well as being put into effect in upcoming digital exhibitions, such as the November Pogrom 1938 Project.
Speaking through Making: Living archives as community resource
This paper presents some of the materials that have resulted from a number of AHRC-funded Connected Communities projects that explore the many ways in which crafting might promote collaboration, build assets and promote wellbeing. It focuses on the archives – digital and material – of two inter-related projects and the knowledge, networks and expertise that these embody and considers how these ‘living archives’ might be supported, maintained and developed through co-created engagement initiatives. The projects are: 1) Co-Producing CARE: Community Asset-Based Research and Enterprise), run in collaboration with Craftspace, which worked with community groups in Cornwall, Birmingham and Dublin to explore processes of collective making, exchange and reflection. Archival materials include short films documenting ’making stories’ and ‘making exchanges’(Hackney, 2013); a digital platform ‘Making Things Together’; artefacts, exhibitions, events, print material and a reflective ‘doily archive; all materials currently available on the project website (cocreatingcare.wordpress.com) 2) Craftivist Garden #wellMAKING, a craftivist (crafts + activism) project, which evolved from the AHRC-CDA:’Making and flourishing: crafts practice as a means of building individual and collective health and wellbeing’ and the symposium ‘Beyond the Toolkit: understanding and evaluating crafts praxis for health and wellbeing’, all run in partnership with Arts for Health Cornwall. Filmed talks, short films, published materials, information about exhibitions and events run by an evolving network of arts for health practitioners, academics and crafters across the country are available through the project website: (http://projects.falmouth.ac.uk/craftivistgarden/), which has an active blog and twitter stream (#wellmaking).
One important finding has been the extent to which the craft group and the process of collective crafting can create a safe space in which participants can connect, communicate, take risks, challenge themselves, work out differences, voice views and become active in new ways. We would like to consider how a ‘living archive’ could replicate the craft group and creative crafting through processes of community ownership, engagement and co-creation.
Earth in Vision: Digital histories of environmental change: collaborative path-finding in the BBC archive
Digital media generate new practices and responsibilities, representing a substantial extension of the material available on a range of topics and opening up new opportunities for research, teaching and public engagement. Earth in Vision brings together an interdisciplinary team of historical and environmental geographers and technical specialists to work with broadcast content and related documentary media archive material in order to think through the opportunities of emerging online digital broadcast archives (DBAs). Specifically, Earth in Vision explores fifty hours of environment themed BBC television and radio broadcasts from over six decades, and an array of related associated scripts, programme planning documents, interviews and ephemera.
In piloting approaches to working with this data, the project addresses two central aims. First, to explore the potential of (here environment based) DBAs in telling new stories with broadcasting written into the script. This case study allows us to extend and revise existing accounts, creating novel environmental histories and supporting a more open & dynamic environmental and geographical imagination. Second, the project explores questions about who will use such archives, how they will use them, what tools they will need, and questions of access (rights and funding). This paper presents what we have learned from working with key constituencies, including academic researchers, university and school based teachers and learners, media and IT professionals, film makers, NGO campaigners and other ‘digital citizens’. It lays out what we see as the opportunities and the challenges of working with DBAs, surveying some of the key features of the landscape via the environmental case study. This includes fine grained but important details, such as the navigation of third party rights and funding models, broader issues of user creativity such that we are potentially ‘all broadcasters now’, as well as the ‘digital ideologies’ built into any new archive platforms.
Lessons from ‘The Vale’ – The role of hyperlocal media in shaping reputational geographies
This paper draws on research into participatory community journalism undertaken on the Castle Vale estate in East Birmingham. ‘The Vale’ as it is known locally has been the subject of significant urban regeneration initiatives since the early 90s, the area having by then gained an externally-imposed “negative reputational geography” (Parker and Karner 2011:309). Such a reputation has impacted the degree to which local residents feel community media should represent the ‘real’ Castle Vale or a more idealised, ‘human interest’ version of life on the estate.
Community Media in Castle Vale has long played a role in addressing external perceptions through the funding of a community radio station, hyperlocal news website and a newspaper; yet its output remains a contested site of representational struggle. Such media are often identified as playing an important role in offering news content that is “grounded in local, hermeneutic knowledge,” (Jones and Salter 2012: 96) and research has focused on the civic value of hyperlocal media (Metzgar et al. 2011, Kurpius 2010) with claims made about its ability to “make a distinctive contribution to local social capital, cohesion and civic involvement” (Flouch and Harris 2010: 6). Drawing on research workshops and a co-created journalism project involving residents and the community media organisation, the paper reveals ways in which assumptions about the democratising function of such media come up against the tensions over representation that exist between readers and producers of media texts. The chapter offers a critical account of how researchers and archivists need to shed light on the ways citizens seek to shape histories of place in the light of sensitivities about reputation of place.
The Crypto-Colonial Commons: Defining and Supporting the Stewardship of traditional Knowledge in the Digital Age
This paper broaches issues in the ownership, stewardship and dissemination of intangible culture and traditional cultural heritage in the contemporary world. It considers the case of the Marks/Khymberg family storytelling tradition, a body of many hundreds of interlinked oral stories maintained for many generations of turbulent history by members of an Anglo-Dutch Jewish family, and now forming the basis of Shanaleah Khymberg’s career as the professional storyteller Shonaleigh. Folklorist Dr Simon Heywood has a long-standing personal connection to the family and has begun work with Shonaleigh to document and archive this rare and valuable family tradition. The project has quickly raised a number of issues: which individual(s) and/or group(s) own the stories, and the methods whereby the art of telling them is taught and maintained? Who is morally entitled to access and use this material, through what channels and on what terms? What is appropriate technological mediation? None of the existing models of ownership/access (individual author copyright, co-authorship, public domain through ascription to “Trad.” or “Anon.”) appear to be entirely appropriate. In particular, there is a worrying historical tendency, still persisting, for public domain ascription to enable aggressive appropriation and even degradation of traditional knowledges by privileged groups ostensibly engaged in advocacy. The “commons,” in short, can function as a crypto-colonial space. These are globally relevant issues, in the light (for example) of Kyle White’s work on scientific and official engagements with the traditional knowledges (TKs) of indigenous groups confronting challenges such as climate change, and the related wider use of storytelling in environmental work. This paper will briefly describe the Marks/Khymberg research project, canvass the issues raised, and suggest provisional answers pending further reflection.
Engaging Education: Online Resources using LHSA’s HIV/AIDS Collections
Lothian Health Services Archive – Policies, Postcards and Prophylactics; a project to catalogue and conserve LHSA’s UNESCO – awarded HIV/AIDS collections (1983-2010). A presentation from LHSA would focus on the following aspects of the above project: In 2011, the HIV/AIDS Collections held at Lothian Health Services Archive were awarded an inscription on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register. Unique in it’s age and content the collections spans from 1983 – 2010 and contain a huge number of ephemeral objects including condoms, badges, hats, t -shirts, watches, VHS video and audio cassette tapes as well as newspaper cuttings and paper records. This visual element means that the collections lend themselves perfectly to a range of outreach and public engagement projects. The project has been disseminated to the wider public through a social media campaign using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the LHSA Blog; all of which have encouraged interaction with the collections. The educational potential of the records has led to collaboration with Waverley Care, an HIV/AIDS awareness group in Edinburgh on a range of projects. It is hoped work with Waverley Care Education Scotland will result in the creation of an interactive learning resource website for use by pupils, teachers and other educational professionals to help educate younger generations on the need for safe sex and the dangers of HIV/AIDS. The resource will be created in line with Curriculum for Excellence and resources will take of a range of formats, including an interactive front end portal, interactive quizzes and downloadable information packs. It is hoped this digital approach will engage children across Scotland and allow LHSA to use their collections to tell the story of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the effect it had on Edinburgh.
MacGuffin: Self-publishing for Text and Audio
“MacGuffin is a self-publishing platform for fiction and poetry in both text and audio form. Writers upload their text along with a reading of their work in mp3 format; end-users can read the text, or stream the audio on the go, via smartphone or tablet. You can toggle between the text and audio at any point.
MacGuffin uses ‘broad-folksonomy’ end-user hash-tagging for content curation. Any user can add hashtags to anyone else’s work to describe the content, add it to a meme, create a personal reading list, or share it with their reading group or writing group (similar to how you might use hashtags on Twitter). As more content is added and tagged, it accumulates into a huge a database of crowd-curated stories and poetry.
The project’s a non-profit collaboration between Comma Press, the Manchester Metropolitan University, and fffunction.co (a UX design agency). It’s supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts – a fund to help arts organisations explore digital projects that have an impact on the wider arts community.”
“What we have here on this site/community/group/family is PRICELESS!!”: issues around collaborative community online archives – A case study of the http://pebblemill.org project
Web 2.0 is impacting the archival landscape, taking it beyond the institutional domain. We see enthusiasts establishing “idiosyncratic archives”, and the emergence of what has been called “Archive 3.0” (Dougherty and Schnedier, 2011). Over the last four years I have run a project to document and celebrate the programme making and production culture of BBC Pebble Mill, in Birmingham, using social media to access a largely hidden history. This project has become a collaborative online community archive. At its height BBC Pebble Mill, produced 10% of BBC output, dramas like Nuts in May and Boys from the Blackstuff, daytime programmes like Pebble Mill at One and factual series like Top Gear, Countryfile and Gardeners’ World. Many of the programmes produced were seen as ephemeral, and not necessarily preserved by the BBC. At the heart of the project is a website: http://pebblemill.org. It includes oral history video interviews, as well as photographs and written memories. Pebble Mill is remembered fondly by BBC staff, many keeping photographs they are happy to share. I post a daily blog, and link to the ancillary Facebook Page. Currently there are over 1,300 members of the Page, who have proved invaluable, adding comments about working on productions, identifying photographs, and invoking memories in others. This project illustrates how online technologies can facilitate collaborative community practice. But important questions are raised: what are the new archival practices that are fit for managing collaborative, interactive, community based projects? How important are issues surrounding accuracy and authenticity? And do such projects change our understanding of the concept of audience labour? What are the implications about moderation and ethics around privacy and consent? Additionally what are the concerns over rights protection, and the importance of meta-data tagging of posts? And, how stable are online collections in a precarious virtual world?
Jenkins, Tricia and Hardy, Pip
Ageing Narratives – What can we learn from digital storytelling?
Digital Storytelling, as developed by the Centre for Digital Storytelling in California some twenty years ago, is now a global movement of committed practitioners working with story in community, educational, health and therapeutic environments. Combining the ancient art of storytelling with modern digital tools, digital storytelling provides a mechanism by which we can easily create and share personal stories and use them as powerful forces for change.
Our paper brings together ongoing research on the benefits of digital storytelling with older people and the practitioners’ experience, particularly from the perspective of promoting greater compassion and humanity within healthcare (Hardy and Sumner 2014). We draw upon humanistic gerontology to discuss definitions of ageing and present the important role of micro-narratives in “articulating and interpreting ageing experiences” (Baars, 2012), whilst describing the documented and observed benefits of participation in digital storytelling as a process.
As practitioners, we speak often of ‘giving voice’. Paradoxically,digital storytelling interventions are often one-off, dependent upon the next round of project funding because the practice recognizes the centrality of facilitation, rather than the DIY approach of current mainstream social media practices. Digital storytelling as a movement has been criticized for missing the boat in terms of reaching large audiences (Hartley, 2013). Digital stories do not tend to go viral and sometimes they remain offline, depending on the wishes of the storytellers. However, the impact on individuals should not be underestimated (Shea 2010).
Even large-scale change begins, in the words of Margaret Meade, ‘with a small group of committed people’ (Mead 1910-1978). We discuss the role of stories created in facilitated workshops and shown to audiences, for example, via the Patient Voices website (www.patientvoices.org.uk). We conclude that digital storytelling is an important social movement with the potential to effect change at individual, community and societal levels.
Baars, J. Critical Turns of Ageing, Narrative and Time. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 2012 7(2): 143-165
Hardy, P. and T. Sumner (2014) Cultivating compassion: how digital storytelling is transforming healthcare. Chichester, Kingsham Press.
Hartley, J. (2013) A Trojan Horse in the Citadel of Stories? Journal of Cultural Science,Vol.6, No 1
Mead, M. (1910-1978) Source of quote unknown.
Shea, M. (2010) An exploration of personal experiences of taking part in a digital storytelling project. Psychology. Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam. MSc.
Jones, Jennifer and McGillivray, David
Digital Commonwealth: Utilising Glasgow 2014 to empower communities to produce citizen-focused responses to major events
This paper draws on a practice-research project, Digital Commonwealth, which sought to address a need highlighted by a range of public and third sector agencies to improve media and digital literacies in an age of an evolving digital media landscape. This is at a time when traditional forms of local media have been transformed and supplemented with creative forms of hyper local and digital storytelling through social media platforms (Carnegie Trust, 2013). The Digital Commonwealth project utilised digital storytelling techniques, including blogging, video, audio and social media as a method of exploring and sustaining digital participation within identified marginalised and unvoiced communities across Scotland. It used the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst and supported individuals and communities across Scotland to produce digital artefacts, share them online and create a permanent record of community voice (s), often drowned out during media saturated major events (McGillivray, 2013).
In this paper, we reflect upon the opportunities presented and challenges faced in archiving a citizen-focused digital project of this nature, in particular focusing on the use of third party social media platforms to host and share content, issues of data ownership and the ethics of community-based research and practice working with communities that experience deficits in existing digital capital. The paper will consider these problematics by drawing on case studies and lessons learnt from the project’s three main delivery strands (i.e. schools, community media and creative voices). We conclude by reflecting on the ways in which co-produced digital narratives and artefacts can be produced, circulated, saved and preserved whilst being sympathetic to the context within the temporal and spatial contexts within which they were generated.
’50 Shades of Curry Anyone?’- Creating New Rusholme Stories in the ‘Curry Mile’ district of Manchester
This abstract has a focus upon digital story telling, an experience that has grown to inform a new idea and new response in terms of the development of a new Day and Night Time Economy Plan for the Rusholme district of Manchester, recognised internationally over the decades as being the ‘Curry Mile’ , a high street that has a large number of South Asian restaurants.
Rusholme. as a district Rusholme is evolving, and newer community presence is shifting from a traditional ‘ English gentrified district’ steeped in heritage centuries old, over to becoming a 21st Century district of multiple identities and cultures. In assessing what to do in terms of creative storytelling, what are the best measures and formats to convey new Rusholme stories? Alternate ideas that communicate newer community stories have created a new ambitions locally, unlocking archive and heritage that connects us to rest of the City of Manchester, offering ways forward on new forms of representative storymaking in new ways and formats for local community, people and visitors to connect with.
We track the role of Apna Creatives, an 4 year incubated project that was developed with Manchester City Council Events Team & Manchester Mela, the largest South Asian outdoor festival in the North West. Highlighting micro projects delivered such as ‘The Bollywood Mobile Orchestra’ a project developed with Madlab and Band on the Wall. over to ‘Degrees of Separation’ an exhibition that looks at the development and use of 3d printing technologies in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections Childrens Book Collection that unlocked newer discussions on the role of archive and collections for local people. As part of the presentation we also explore t the new approach taken by Festival of Ideas Rusholme and their work to create and author new approaches in developing a new slate of Rusholme Stories.
Experiencing the Digital World: The Cultural Value of Digital Engagement with Heritage
With the increasing reach of technologies for digitisation and digital engagement, experiences of cultural forms are becoming increasingly diverse. Although the digital world can be seen simply as a signpost for cultural activities surrounding heritage, we explore its potential to be a context in which new audiences can access and influence museum content. This paper emerges from an AHRC Critical Review, at the University of Leeds, and draws on partnerships with heritage organisations in the UK and beyond. It examines how digital fora are shaping individual experiences of heritage culture; how the rise of digital spaces has influenced the understanding of cultural value; how museums and heritage organisations make best use of digital tools for engagement; and what organisations need to know to unlock the potential for digital engagement with new and existing audiences. We examine the influence of user-generated content and the crowd-sourcing of heritage on museum practices globally by reviewing both the existing body of literature on museums and the digital and current live digital content, and through a survey of heritage professionals. In doing so we take further the work of scholars such as Champion, Popple, Soderqvist, Parry, Simon, and Giaccardi, demonstrating how digital technologies are fundamentally altering our relationship with heritage.
“The PoetryFilm Archive 2002-2015”
PoetryFilm celebrates experimental poetryfilms, films based on poems, poems turned into films, collaborations, art films, text-based films, sound-informed films and other avant-garde text/image/sound material. The PoetryFilm project has resulted in over 60 events at cinemas, galleries, literary festivals and academic institutions featuring films, poetry readings, live performances and talks. http://poetryfilm.org/pastevents/
There is also a PoetryFilm Archive containing hundreds of international text/image/sound materials submitted to the project over the past 12 years. As part of the ACE-funded PoetryFilm consolidation project, I am now cataloguing and documenting the PoetryFilm Archive. For the “Storytelling and the Digital Archive” conference, I propose talking about my experiences and approaches of cataloguing the PoetryFilm Archive. Topics will include considerations of various archiving methodologies (and their advantages and disadvantages), labeling, storing, backing up, and where to make available (as both hard copies and soft copies).
The PoetryFilm material is on VHS, DVD, printed materials, and there are also online submissions (which have had to be downloaded and stored). My challenge has been to find ways of logically cataloguing the material.
I have created a Master spreadsheet document listing each item in the Archive. This is valuable for future research and future programming. For example, if I want to look up material relating to a particular theme, I will be able to search for key words, director name, title, and duration etc.
As PoetryFilm is a cross-disciplinary project, the Archive could be made available in a number of museum and media archives, for example, the Poetry Library (as a poetry resource), the BFI (as a film resource), or the British Library (as a cultural resource). For the conference I would mix my spoken presentation with examples of short PoetryFilms being screened to create an engaging and informative contribution to the conference.
Archiving art school atmosphere: Digital collecting, cultural heritage practice and non-materiality
At Kingston University, we have been developing histories and archival holdings focused on the 140-year heritage of Kingston School of Art. In assembling the stories and objects that will compose focal points for our exhibitions and events programme in our anniversary celebrations, we have drawn primarily on a network of creative practitioners with connections to Kingston in order to summon up the spirit and feeling of ‘being there’, the unique community character that surrounds an institution such as an art school.
As Jeff Malpas has asserted, ‘much contemporary heritage practice…has shifted away from a focus on the individual object, and onto the narratives, practices, representations, systems of knowledge, and broader socio-cultural contexts within which such objects were originally embedded’. Malpas notes that this does not indicate that objects are insignificant to new heritage practices, but rather that the static singular cultural perspective of previous heritage approaches is no longer accepted. There is a necessity to acknowledge the many voices that can adhere to cultural heritage artefacts and the multiple responses they generate through creative means.
In this paper I will examine this multivocality of heritage objects within the context of our research on Kingston School of Art, focusing on the community narratives gathered around the art school over and above individual object biographies. I will discuss how these narratives translate into digital and exhibition formats, and consider the mnemonic qualities of the art school’s heritage, asking ultimately how the intangible or non-material art school atmosphere can be showcased.
Levick-Parkin, Melanie, Gwilt, Ian, McEntaggart, Patrick and Wood, Jonathan
Enhancing museum visits through the creation of data visualization to support informed choices and the recording and sharing of experiences
This paper explores the use of a practice-led research methodology in the design of generative data visualizations that can be used to reveal the details of an empiric visit to a museum. The research has been undertaken as part of the EU funded project entitled ‘mesch: Material Encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage’, with the objective of designing, developing and deploying tools for the creation of tangible interactive experiences that connect the physical dimension of museums and exhibitions with digital information, in new and novel ways. Here we are specifically concerned with how user-engagement captured at the point of interaction can be visualized to bring added value and insight to the museum visit, for the visitor, the museum curator and the broader community. Collected data detailing personal demographics, time spent at exhibits, choice and sequence of viewing etc. are used to explore how data can be generatively visualized to allow visitors to make informed decisions about: what they have seen; to help plan return visits; acquire additional knowledge; and for curators to organize future displays based on visitor interests. Within the paper we introduce a range of novel applications that have been developed to expand and enhance the visitor experience. Firstly we discuss the creation of prototype interfaces developed to investigate how the potential of digital networks can augment the user and community experience by connecting museums and cultural artifacts to digital archives and related materials at other venues. How the accompanying interaction with digital interfaces might prefigure and extend the experience of a museum visit before and after the event is also investigated. Secondly, we discuss visual strategies and languages that capture the experience in a dynamic user-interface, which can be interacted with at a range of distances both physical and temporal from the museum visit and in different personal and socio-cultural settings. Other considerations including the development of generic interfaces and transferable designs to different types of museum and the design of physical ‘experience mementoes’ are discussed. Finally we describe how the participation of visual communication design students can be effectively incorporated into an interdisciplinary, blue-sky research environment.
The Quandaries and Tensions of Evaluation in Digital Storytelling
Evaluation can so often be seen as something that we ‘have to do’ rather than something that is inherently beneficial to all parts of the process. …..The dangers of repeating the same patterns without evaluation are very clear – we don’t develop and our learners don’t have the best opportunities (Mary Dowson)
In this paper I examine the problematic status evaluation occupies within multi-partner projects. Using the case studies of Leonardo project ‘Extending Creative Practice ‘and its broader descendent , ‘Silver Stories’, I focus on how evaluation straddles a disputed space. As a researcher at Goldsmiths College I have seen how embedded evaluation, from project inception can offer a practical reactive resource throughout its duration. Digital storytelling evaluation must cover both the processual and the visual, allowing for creative methods to interrogate the participatory process and examine the potential of data from final outputs.
Evaluatory techniques are, however, under stress from partner and funder expectations and indeed from budget restrictions. Processual elements such as differing native languages also come into play. These, too, have a bearing on the layered understanding a project and the evaluation process should understand ‘..while all individual elements of languages…. are mutually exclusive, those languages complement one another in terms of their intentions.’
Benjamin’s instincts suggest an understanding of the ‘translation’ work needed in evaluation. Indeed, I contend that the evaluation process itself offers a means to cumulate conflicting concerns. As Law et al (2011) suggest:
‘By reducing issues to questions of technique, it allows different parties to come together around some kind of shared project, whatever their goals, values, orientations and identities.’ Embedded evaluation offers an opportunity for a comprehensive methodology and in this paper I seek to articulate an ideal approach in evaluating multi-partner projects in an ever-changing landscape, shaped by policy and funding agendas.
Upsetting the Apple Cart: Digital Stories as Alternative Knowledge Systems
It is now fourteen years since BBC Wales launched its pioneering digital storytelling project Capture Wales, which sought to reimagine Welsh cultural identity and experience in the light of a new century and a newly devolved nation. The methodology that the project adopted, itself modeled upon the working practice of the Center for Digital Storytelling in California, has formed the basis for the multiple digital storytelling projects that have taken place in the UK over the intervening years. Digital storytelling is now use by individuals, families, community groups, businesses, campaign and activism groups and government in pursuit of their goals. Digital storytelling is now even commonly used within the academy, not only as a pedagogical tool or as a means of disseminating ideas, but also as a research methodology in itself, as a way of capturing new forms of knowledge. Within community, co-designed research it is proving particularly useful in capturing new voices and challenging the expert and technical discourse that so often dominates, allowing new voices to enter the frame, providing access to new forms of knowledge, and challenge the existing knowledge hierarchies. Storytelling is also an effective tool in allowing us to explore and navigate our way through complex subjects with multiple viewpoints, truths and realities – storytelling allows us to deal with the ‘mess’ that characterizes the world.
This paper will explore these ideas through the trials, tribulations and successes of two AHRC-funded projects: ASPECT, which explored the use of storytelling to increase public engagement in the climate change conversation; and Digital Dialogues, a work package with the Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery project, funded through the Connected Communities programme to explore the role of creative practice, within the metal health field, to enhance the mutual recovery of all involved.
Light, Ann and Millen, Tamar
The Connected Communities Media Collection
This talk discusses the Connected Communities Media Collection, an archive of community research media searchable by theme and location. It also introduces the co-authored “Making Media with Communities: Guidance for Researchers”: a framework of ethical and practical considerations for creating media outputs with communities as part of research. We explore the making of the Collection, an aggregation of the media outputs of the 300+ research projects under the ARHC-led Connected Communities call. And we discuss how a creative round-table of academic, policy and community media practitioners took on the original idea (of collecting the media made by communities as part of research projects) in new ways, using the participatory methods that have become the hallmark of this programme. Last, we outline the ideas that came from the discussions as a way of framing where community-made media sit in relation to researching, recording and representing everyday life. In this way, we reflect on what it takes to develop an accessible online body of work in a variety of media made as a collaboration between communities and university-based researchers.
Connecting Communities using Photographic Archives
The announcement recently by the late Terry Cook in the pages of Archivaria that the theme of the Fourth Archival Paradigm would be that of ‘Communities’ came of little surprise to those working in the archival profession since in recent years web and digital technology has been changing the way we as the public utilize our archive and museum holdings. As of October 2013 the AHRC funded the research project Connecting Communities at Leeds University and was funded under the Digital Transformations in Community Research Co-Production in the Arts and Humanities, as well as many other projects investigating the use of and by archives and communities in the UK. However, tellingly absent is any focus on the use of digital communications technology and their combined usage within and by photographic archives. Surprising since most archival websites utilize their photographic holdings to describe and illustrate their various other holdings yet with little focus on photographic holdings themselves, especially, what can variously be described as snapshot, family, vernacular and social photographs: i.e., that of the everyday photograph that all of our families own and have taken prior to the digital revolution.
This paper does not so much strive to give any easy answers as to how social photographs can be utilized by and within archives today or in the future but by using a number of case studies of items held by Bradford’s National Media Museum suggests ways in which digital communications technologies might be utilized and combined to make photographic holdings more accessible to the public. It focuses on the myriad legal and technological difficulties such as issues of ownership, that might present themselves through this process and ways that these may be overcome. In recent years we have seen an explosion of interest in vernacular photography and its application as a creative tool. With better online access to these kinds of photographs and creative approaches to their accessibility and proliferation we can enable digital technologies to help provide better contexts and thus creative uses for vernacular photographs, creating new interactive environments, thus providing better access and tools for their use as storytelling devices and in other creative exchanges.
Letter to an Unknown Soldier: Archiving the Digital War Memorial
LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER is a new kind of war memorial, made of words. Created by writers Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger, the project was commissioned by Britain’s 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of WW1. Inspired by Charles Jagger’s 1922 bronze statue of a soldier, who stands on Platform One of Paddington Station, London, reading a letter, the digital artwork invited everyone in the country to write their own letter to the soldier. LTAUS opened to the public for submissions from mid-May 2014, and all the letters received to date went online on 28 June (the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand). The website remained open for submissions until 4 August (the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war). By its close, more than 21,400 letters had been received from around the world. LTAUS is an extraordinary example of a crowd-sourced participatory media artwork written by thousands of people who don’t think of themselves as writers. It was a transmedia event, spread across many platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Wattpad, Figment, Tumblr, YouTube and Storify. Simultaneously, the project used person-to person participatory routes (eg workshops/BBC roadshows) to introduce less experienced online users to the possibility of participation in a digital artwork. The diversity of responses to the project was both unusual and inspiring, including submissions from schoolchildren, serving soldiers, a huge range of the public, as well as the current British Prime Minister. Now that Phase One of the project has concluded, Phase Two will take place during autumn 2014: the website, and all its digital traces and residues, will be transformed into both an archive of the artwork and an open access resource for educators and community organisations. Website address: www.1418now.org/letter.
Minnion, Andy, Green, Vicky, Ingham, Nigel, Ledger, Sue and Abrahams, Jane
What does an inclusive archive look like and how does it work?
A team of active Researchers with learning disabilities will share their work in progress on the project that they are in the first phase of; called ‘A co-produced, digital, and living archive of learning disability history’. The project is led by the Open University and its Social History of Learning Disability project, with the University of East London’s RIX Research and Media Centre and Leeds University’s School of Fine Art History of Art & Cultural Studies collaborating to steer the Research, with people with learning disabilities engaged as both paid Research Assistants and as Co-researchers from the Life Stories and Reminiscence Groups based at Carlisle and Central England People First Groups, and the Woodbine Centre and Uniting Friends in North London.
In March 2015 the project will have concluded a series of inclusive ‘sandpit sessions’ in London, Leeds and Carlisle, in which people with learning disabilities, technologists, archivists, historians and advocates. The sandpits will have explored models of design and working approaches that can enable people with diverse abilities and interests to all participate as both contributors and users of a genuinely inclusive archive. The question of how an archive can really involve people with significant learning disabilities and share their life stories and social history for all users will have been investigated through action research. The project’s inclusive research team will share their findings with the Conference, using self-produced multimedia accounts of their observations and insights from the sandpit sessions and the design and delivery strategies that they have developed from this co-production experience. Delegates will be invited to review the researchers’ work with them, share their own experiences and reflections and become part of the co-production process at the heart of this unique participatory research project.
Feminist radio archives – reflective practice and transnational connections
Community radio strengthens people´s capacity to tell and broadcast their own stories in their own way. (Milan 2008) Digital archives of women´s community radio stations provide us with access to programmes, documents and accounts of women´s radio activities around the world. Digitalization has contributed to open access, online and collaborative archives and the ability to communicate the women´s movement and everyday acts of feminist rebellion within and beyond country borders. The Fem FM Archive was established in Bristol in March 2014 (in conjunction with Bristol Record Office www.bristol.gov.uk/femfm) to document the first women´s station in the UK: broadcast in Bristol in 1992 and involving 200 volunteers working on every aspect of the station. Using interviews carried out with Fem FM volunteers 20 years after the original broadcasts I will explore how Fem FM and other feminist radio archives allow us to study cultures of production at different points in history and demonstrate creative activism afforded by women´s radio stations within and beyond national borders.
Milan, S. (2008). ‘What makes you happy? Insights into feelings and muses of community radio practitioners. In Scifo, S., (ed.) Thematic issue on Community Radio. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. London, University of Westminster, pp 25 – 43.
Moore, Niamh and Gilchrist, Paul
Introducing the ‘Collaborative Stories Spiral’: A participatory methodology for creating transformational community history projects
Working as a team comprising academics and a research-experienced Community Partner, LGBT Youth North West, we have been collaborating on a range of participatory research projects. Many of these projects have involved the generation of community histories (often of food growing communities) through participatory oral history work and related methods. Our projects have produced rich data, and a range of compelling outputs, including YouTube films, storyboards, talking patchwork quilts, print on demand books, and associated exhibitions. Yet, as we undertook these projects together, we have been struck by the absence of an over-arching methodological framework, analogous to PAR in the social-sciences, but which was tailored to the process of creating community stories together. In an attempt to address this we have developed the Collaborative Story Spiral (CSS) as a conceptual framework which guides and supports collaborative teams through the recursive four stage spiral process of (i) situating stories (ii) generating stories and (iii) analysing stories (iv) remediating stories. We have been conceptualising the CSS as a ‘boundary object’ (Star 2010), which allows for flexible structures, including models which do not involve (so much) academic mediation. We are particularly interested in the multiple movements and transformations of data and outputs and in what happens once community stories are remediated in a range of forms, eg academic report to website and archive and community artwork. In conceptualising our approach we also draw on Haraway’s work on story transmission as a game of ‘cat’s cradle’ (1994) and King’s attention to ‘transmedia ecologies’ (2012), to offer a model of research which allows ‘interpretative flexibility’ about the shared project, and which is open to and recognises the multiple ways in which collaboratively produced stories work and are worked on in the world, and continue to do so beyond the life of funded projects. We will draw on a range of our projects in outlining our methodology and our aim is that it will be transferable, and that others will take it up and find it useful.
Morton, Ralph and Nesi, Hilary
Institutional collaboration in the creation of digital linguistic resources: the case of the British Telecom Correspondence Corpus
Over the past three years at Coventry University we have developed the British Telecom Correspondence Corpus (BTCC), a searchable database of letters taken from the public archives of BT. The opportunity to do this came about through the the Jisc-funded New Connections project, a collaboration between Coventry University, BT Heritage and The National Archives aiming to digitise almost half a million images and documents from the BT Archives. The material in the BT Archives is public record, making it an appealing resource for research purposes.
To create the BTCC we identified, transcribed and, using TEI compliant XML, marked-up just over 600 business letters on a wide variety of topics, written by nearly 400 authors between 1853 and 1982. The corpus will shortly be made freely available, allowing researchers to access and engage with these public records in a new way.
With this first phase of the project nearing an end we have been looking at ways to expand the corpus. Initially this will involve identifying additional letters from the BT Archives but we have also been in discussions with institutions that have historical links to BT such as the Post Office (of which British Telecom was once a part) with a view to including Post Office material. In addition to increasing the size of the corpus this would be a good opportunity to link in the digital realm archival collections from institutions that otherwise remain separate for practical reasons.
In this presentation we will discuss our experiences of collaborating with partner institutions in the initial creation of the BTCC, our recent efforts working to include material from related archives, and the issues surrounding access and copyright when making archive material available for linguistic research.
Engagement Centres and Personal Archives: The Opportunities in the First World War Centenary
Recent years have seen a revolution in family history and amateur genealogy. The possibilities created by broadband internet, the digitisation of records and the advent of crowdsourcing have fostered an unprecedented boom in the pursuit of private histories.
There are now thousands of mini-archives in spare rooms and attics around the country. These archives, a combination of documentary information and material artefacts are of intense personal value to the people who have carefully curated them. But they are also of use to professional historians who can use them in aggregate to build a picture of the social past. The organisational demands of the two world wars form key nodes in personal history searches. Regimental records, war graves and the like provide ‘informational landmarks’ that amateur researchers use to navigate their way through the past. The centenary of the First World War is therefore operating as a ‘meta-informational landmark’. The enhanced focus that the centenary provides will create new interest and new opportunities. Projects such as the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War and the National Archives/IWM Operation: War Diary are not only giving people a chance to get involved in genealogical activities; they’re using some of the very techniques that have been developed during this revolution.
The AHCR First World War Engagement Centres have been established to facilitate WW1 co-production between professional academics and amateur enthusiasts. We see the centenary as the first major test of the product of this revolution. Several challenges emerge. How can historians be given access to these disparate collections? How do we solve the ‘succession problem’? In short, how can we make the revolution useful?
Rivlin, Penny and Turner, Andy
Island Stories: Growing Digital Heritage: The story so far
Island Stories: Growing Digital Heritage is a pilot project funded as part of the RCUK Digital Economy Theme Sustainable Society Network. The project focussed on the Isle of Bute, a beautiful island destination “Doon the Water” from Glasgow. A popular holiday destination up to the 1950’s, the island has since suffered from declining tourism and associated economic and social impact, leading to declining population and reduced opportunities. Recent initiatives have begun to reinvigorate appreciation of Bute’s natural and built heritage appeal, but slow and variable internet connectivity has, to date, hindered the development of this and other island assets as means of attracting people to visit, live and work on the island. Putting our skills and resources together and drawing on the Pararchive mother project, we spent 6 months exploring the feasibility of growing digital heritage and how this and other initiatives may help change the fortunes again of this wonderful place. Our presentation aims to tell the story in three woven threads. One thread focuses on what we found out, another thread is about how we went about it, and a final thread is essentially looking forward to what we do next. The research involved a researcher in residence, field visits, a questionnaire, interviews and mapping exercises. We learned about some of the history and heritage of the island, and engaged with people there to consider contemporary challenges and opportunities (including those with preserving and conserving heritage both physically and digitally). The arrival of high speed broadband on the island is still over a year away and we are hopeful of securing further funding to investigate the changes that this will have on the Island and those that visit and live there.
Stories of Change: an experiment at the intersection of policy, research, the arts and community
The Stories of Change project aims to help to revive stalled public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future. The project stems from the cross-party commitments to decarbonisation that sit at the heart of the UK Government’s Climate Change Act. It draws on history, literature, social and policy research and the arts to encourage a more imaginative approach to current and future energy choices. The team is working with stories for two main reasons. First, they offer an engaging route into thinking about energy-society relations across time. Second, stories, narratives and narration are concepts that the very diverse research partners drawn from industry, policy, academic, arts and community groups can gather around. We will also be experimenting with the possibilities of co-creating more open-ended and dynamic stories about the future of energy. This paper will explore the methodological and theoretical considerations that led to the decision to centre the project on stories, and will plot some of the opportunities and challenges presented by our approach. History, digital storytelling, fictional narratives, and scenarios of the future all communicate different ideas about the consequences of change for everyday life, and hold different perspectives and attitudes towards change. At the same time our approach carries risks that must be acknowledged at the outset. Notions of storyteller, editor and audience in particular will be explored critically as we experiment with different ways of giving voice to a wider range of people and things (Couldry; Ricoeur; Latour). Stories of Change is a collaboration between the Open University, the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Exeter, Sheffield and South Wales, and the arts organisations TippingPoint and Visiting Arts, funded by the AHRC under the Connected Communities programme (£1.47m, 2014-2017).
Stainforth, Liz and Bettivia, Rhiannon
All and Each: Dialogues in the Digital Archive
Within the last ten years, developments in digital technologies have provided new opportunities for individuals and communities to utilize archival resources, and tell their own stories in ways that allow them to gain a measure of visibility through open source online platforms. But the commercial or institutional alliances underlying these platforms have sometimes given cause for unease about the maintenance of autonomy in grassroots projects.
Michel Foucault’s later work on ‘governmentality’ speaks to this concern and identifies in modes of government the mutually reinforcing relation of all and each, ‘to develop those elements constitutive of individuals’ lives in such a way that their development also fosters that of the strength of the state’. Our collaborative project, ‘All and Each: Dialogues in the Digital Archive’ takes Foucault’s insight as a point of departure for thinking about how institutional archival narratives can be carried over, consciously or not, into projects that are intended to represent alternative stories and histories. Web archiving platforms, in their design and structure, have the potential to both support and challenge such narratives. Our work utilizes open archive tools to self-reflexively explore the simultaneously individualizing and totalizing effects when these platforms are put into use.
In this presentation, we introduce our project and examine the relation of all and each with reference to two digital archive case studies. We attempt to bring these distinct yet related imperatives into dialogue with one another, and suggest tentative strategies for negotiating the power relations implied therein. In the final section, we share our own web aggregate compiled using the open-source tool Scalar, a platform that provides both the framework and the basis of critique for the project, with the aim of informing web archiving practices and developing research questions about the narrative spaces of the digital archive.
Surtees, Alison and Ward, Abigail
Multiple Histories – The Democratisation of Manchester’s Music Heritage
Manchester District Music Archive is a user-led, volunteer-run online archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history. Co-founders Alison Surtees and Abigail Ward discuss the development of their ground-breaking project, which allows users to preserve, share and research their own musical heritage through digitised ephemera such as tickets, photos, press articles, posters and video. The talk will chart the rise of MDMArchive; the difficulties encountered; and how these challenges, such as who ‘owns’ heritage and who ‘decides’ what is shown, were overcome through user-generated content. MDMArchive has been at the forefront of developments in community-led digital storytelling for over ten years. This talk will explore why digital environments are important for sharing heritage, destabilising dominant historical narratives and opening up access to archival material for many to enjoy and have ownership of.
Tester, Sarah and Beilby, Nick
Act Now! Developing a responsive approach to community engagement
This paper will discuss the role of the heritage professional in the community and argues that to establish long lasting, mutually beneficial community relationships organisations should be learning to be more responsive in the community and harnessing their skills and enthusiasm.
Explore York Libraries and Archives is working in collaboration with Nick Beilby, a representative of the Normandy Veterans Association York Branch, to deliver the Normandy Veterans Legacy project. Working with the Veterans, volunteers from the University of York have been capturing the memories of the six remaining members of the Association in York, and collaboratively cataloguing their personal archive collections. These new archives will form a lasting legacy for the Veterans as they are made accessible to researchers in our new archive facility.
This paper uses the Veterans project to demonstrate the reality of working in collaboration with community partners. Our experience has taught us that acting quickly to capture the enthusiasm and expertise of our community partners opens the door to innovative projects with meaningful outcomes to the participants.
The project is part of a wider programme of community engagement being developed within our Heritage Lottery Funded York: Gateway to History project. Learning to be responsive is one of many lessons learnt from our work as we deliver projects that are community designed, community led and, for the most part, community delivered.
The success of the Gateway to History approach is the subject of PhD research at the University of York, challenging how heritage professionals behave in the community. Our experiences are also central to the community led culture of Explore Libraries & Archives Mutual, a social enterprise that now delivers the archives service in York. You can find more out about the Gateway to History project and Explore Libraries & Archives Mutual via our blog – http://citymakinghistory.wordpress.com/
The Poetics of the Archive: Creative and Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Archive
‘The Poetics of the Archive’ is an eighteen-month AHRC funded research project centred around community and creative engagement with the Bloodaxe Books archive, held at the Robinson Library, Newcastle University. Over the previous twelve months a ‘community of practice’ formed of thirty poets from the North East have had the opportunity to access one of the most important contemporary poetry archives in the UK.
These writers, alongside two poets and Research Associates – Colette Bryce and Ahren Warner – as well as poet and Principal Investigator Professor Linda Anderson and a wider project team including the filmmaker Kate Sweeney and visualisation specialist and Digital Research Associate, Tom Schofield, have worked together to produce creative literary responses to the archive, innovative digital interfaces, filmed interviews with poets whose papers are housed in the archive and, in March 2015, a poetry festival.
At all stages this has been a process of ‘co-creation’, with community participants and faculty working together to inform each others practice and to form the outcomes of the project as a whole.
This paper will offer a critical investigation of the processes of the project, the fascinating interactions between critical and creative discourses that have emerged and the potential of the work produced during this project to become an enhancement of the archive itself, producing materials and interfaces to the archive that will outlast this particular project as pathways through which the archive will engage future researchers, writers and the wider public. This paper will also offer a discussion of the difficulties, challenges and lessons learnt for future ‘co-creation’ projects centred on the fundamentally trans-discursive terrain of creative/archival interactions.
This is who we are, this is what we sound like’: co-producing stories of the volunteer experience
The presentation will discuss an ongoing transformative design project which is aiming to develop forms of intermedial collective, participatory storytelling. It will focus on activities which looked to generate typographic narratives of an individual’s journey to and through the experience of volunteering.
During 2014 I worked with Keighley Volunteer Centre in West Yorkshire, looking to review their service offerings, engage volunteers and consolidate their brand and communications strategies. As part of this, workshops were used to facilitate ideas around micro-local storytelling through a range of participatory activities. Two groups of volunteers took part in the workshops: Volunteer Befrienders (who choose to spend time with elderly housebound individuals) and Supported Volunteers (18-30 year-olds with learning disabilities, whose volunteering forms part of a wider range of community-engagement activities).
Wanting to tell volunteers’ stories formed the basis of the conversations which took place and the activities visually articulated and collated common emotional moments across the experience through volunteering (pre- to post-) for each group of contributors.
The project made use of a mix of rich participatory methods which attempted to contextualise and classify perceptions of their notional journey. It used an organised visualisation of associated words (Richin 1997 and Laros 2005) and a set of responsive cultural probes which mapped participants’ self-reflection and explicitly addressed a range of attributes concerning the practices of volunteering. Each placed the self at the heart of the volunteering experience and used autobiographical narrative to drive engagement.
The presentation will map the experience(s) and memorability of participants’ journeys through volunteering, with particular reference to the concept of attachments (Le Dantec and DiSalvo (2013)). It will also focus on how the workshop outcomes helped shape further research, in particular the development of methods of digitally telling volunteer stories to engage wider communities.
The Leeds LGBT*IQ Social History Project
This discursive workshop will present this ongoing co-curatorial project at Leeds Museums and Galleries which aims to gather and present the histories/herstories of the diverse LGBT*IQ communities of Leeds. The workshop will involve volunteers from the project who will initially tell the story of the project so far and engage in some discussion with the workshop participants about key questions:
• How can community based co-curatorial projects authentically represent the diversity of LGBT*IQ experience?
• What are the challenges and how can we negotiate conflict when telling controversial, provocative or ‘negative’ aspects of LGBT*IQ stories?
• How can we avoid telling historical/herstorical stories through ‘rose tinted glasses’?
• How can community based co-curatorial practice share power when embarking on museum based storytelling?
• What Best Practice guidance could we recommend for museum professionals who are engaging with LGBT*IQ stories and communities?
(LGBT*IQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer/Questioning).
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