Connecting Communities: Storytelling and the Digital Archive Conference

Connecting Communities: Storytelling and the Digital Archive

Date: Friday 27th – Saturday 28th March 2015
Venue: Stage@Leeds, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K

This AHRC-funded conference and community showcase marks the climax of an eighteen-month multidisciplinary research project entitled Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive ( The project seeks to build new interactive environments that explore issues of ownership, public and institutional relationships and provide tools for collaborative community research and creative expression using digital heritage resources. It was motivated by recognition that communities are encountering real barriers to organising and connecting to resources and each other. In the field of heritage it is often difficult to access archival materials from public cultural institutions owing to bureaucratic, commercial and geographical barriers, something that impedes community research and connectivity. It is often difficult to establish relationships between communities and institutions that could and should be mutually enriching.
We have been asking how best to approach these problems and deal with issues such as copyright, collaborative working, impact and building an open source digital environment to facilitate connectivity and build a set of lasting legacies. We now want to widen our conversation by bringing together community groups, activists and campaigners, researchers, creative professionals, cultural institutions and policymakers interested in developing and promoting research, education, collaborative working practices, policy and activism around the notion of an open access digital resource.

To celebrate the launch of Pararchive and our community partners’ research projects - the conference contributions will explore some of the following themes:

Creativity and innovation
Co-curation models
Co-design and co-production methodologies and experiences
Collaborative practices and community-based participatory research
Copyright in participatory projects
Conservation of artefacts and collections in the digital age
Data ownership and open data
Digital literacy
Digital storytelling
Digitisation of individual and community memory
Emerging business models
Evaluation and measurement of impact in co-produced research
Future notions of digital archives and libraries
Geographical linking
Memory in the arts/digital art preservation
Museum and media archives
Partnership models between communities and institutions
Principles of digital data recording and cataloguing
Research ethics and research data management
(Self)-Representation, identity and privacy in digital public spaces