Project announced in national press

[Original from AHRC press]

Researchers and Communities join forces to harness the power of digital technology

Harnessing the power of digital technologies to enable researchers and communities to work more effectively together to explore community creativity, cultures and heritage is the driver behind eleven new research projects announced today. The projects are designed to develop digital resources that will be of enduring value for both communities and for future research such as: new digital platforms to allow community users to more effectively combine their own materials with materials from archives; crowd-sourced 3D models of prehistoric artefacts; and digitally enhanced physical objects to stimulate the memories-of older people in care homes.

The projects vary in subject matter: `Know Your Bristol on the Move# explores how communities in Bristol move through life, across the city and sometimes across the globe. The project will explore strategies and tools to trace and link the fluid – people – and the fixed – places. A mobile version of an existing website will be developed alongside, two new apps and a `Know Your Bus’ will form a mobile space for digital creation and co-production of research and learning. The project will also work with various local communities to create mobile archives and develop different tools for communities to carry out their own research.

`Affective Digital Histories: Recreating De-industrial Places, 1970s to the Present’ will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers and community groups in Leicester to study how communities changed with their experiences of the decline of British manufacturing and regeneration of urban landscapes in the late twentieth century. The project will look at the changing nature of community ties and bonds through periods of decline and the ways communities use industrial heritage as a part of the regeneration of urban landscapes.  Digital assets such as audio trails to create historical soundscapes and 3D models will be co-created to incorporate the stories, emotions and experiences of local communities associated with economic change and how these can contribute to efforts to regenerate post-industrial environments.

The full list of projects includes:

  • Know Your Bristol On The Move, Professor Robert Bickers, University of Bristol

  • ACCORD – Archaeology Community Co-Production of Research Data, Dr Stuart Jeffrey, Glasgow School of Art

  • The Poetics of the Archive: Creativity and Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Archive, Professor Linda Anderson, Newcastle University

  • Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive, Mr Simon Popple, University of Leeds

  • Co-Production of alternative views of lost heritage, Dr Jonathan Roberts, Bangor University

  • Affective Digital Histories: Recreating De-industrial Places, 1970s to the Present, Dr Ming Lim, University of Leicester

  • EWA – The Ethno-ornithology World Archive, Dr Andrew Gosler, University of Oxford

  • Tangible Memories: Community in Care, Dr Helen Manchester, University of Bristol

  • Our Data Ourselves, Dr Tobias Blanke, King’s College London

  • Co-curate North East: creating sustainable routes for North East communities to digitally, transform and co-produce open cultural resources, Professor Eric Cross, Newcastle University

  • Crowd- and Community-fuelled Archaeological Research, Dr Andrew Bevan, University College London

Gary Grubb, Associate Director of Programmes at AHRC, commented: “These new projects demonstrate how the widespread availability of data and digital technologies can be used in creative ways by arts and humanities researchers and communities to work together in the investigation of new research questions and the creation of assets of lasting value for both research and communities.”

The projects have been funded under the £4 million, Capital Funding Call for Digital Transformations in Community research Co-Production in the Arts and Humanities. The call explored the interface and intersections between the Connected Communities Programme, AHRC’s Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities Theme, the Cross-Council Digital Economy Programme and other AHRC activities relating to the Creative Economy.

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