The 27 selected international Digital Community Heritage Initiatives for analysis
The Pukon Mapuche Heritage is an Indigenous-led digital collection project that collects and archives oral stories from objects linked to the Mapuche community life in Pukon. It gathers heritage inherited and maintained by Mapuche families whose ancestors come from the ancestral lands of Pukon. The project aims to promote Mapuche culture and history through the revitalization of the traditional knowledge systems and trades of the Mapuche people.
Budapest 100 is a civil urban festival which was initiated by OSA Archivum and KÉK in 2011. Every year, the organization chooses a Budapest neighbourhood and invites residents of historic apartment buildings to “open their doors” and invite the public to tour the building over a 2-day annual festival (always on a weekend). Hungarian apartment buildings typically revolve around an inner courtyard, which is hidden from the public. Budapest100 allows these hidden spaces to be shared and shown publicly. Residents sign up to show their building, collaborate with their neighbours (building residents), and work with Budapest100 volunteers to research the history of their building and create exhibits in the stairwell (with historical photos, stories, lists of notable residents, and other information), prepare concerts in the courtyard, and coordinate walks from the basement to the attic.
Recognized affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, registered as a charitable organization and nonprofit organization. It is committed to the development, growth and free distribution of educational content in Nigeria. Its advocacy programs are diverse with many focusing on bridging the gender gap on the internet. It also includes a GLAM initiative with documentation of oral traditions under the Nigerian Language Oral History Documentation Project.
A project for forest communities in Africa to report illegal wildlife crime (Indigenous Baka hunter-gatherer and Bantu farming communities in south-eastern Cameroon). It is part of the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) practice, which is a situated, bottom-up practice that takes into account local needs and culture working with communities and networks of people to design and build new devices and knowledge creation processes for solving societal problems. ExCiteS develops Sapelli, an open-source mobile data collection and sharing tool that facilitates data collection across language or literacy barriers through icon-driven user interfaces. It is designed with a particular focus on non-literate and illiterate users with little or no prior ICT experience.
The platform provides an interface to collaboratively record the cartography of queer life—from park benches to the middle of the ocean—in order to preserve our histories and unfolding realities, which continue to be invalidated, contested, and erased. From collective action to stories of coming out, encounters with violence to moments of rapturous love, Queering the Map functions as a living archive of queer life.
History Harvests are public, community-based events organized by Humanities Texas to which families may bring historic photos, letters, diaries, and other documents. Staff and volunteers from the sponsoring organizations will scan paper items onsite and immediately return the owner’s original materials, along with a free digital copy.
Cultural heritage project in Chile that collects thousands of historical photographs submitted by users (through a submission form) along with date, descriptive text and tags.
Dedicated web space within the Mediatheque Valais - Martigny to collect, preserve and enhance the audiovisual heritage of Valais, Switzerland. It recovers testimony collected from citizens and this gives it a cooperative and preservation value.
A photo archive based on amateur family snapshots, but also expanding to include professional photography. The purpose is to focus on local history. The platform works with libraries to scan photographs according to a high resolution protocol; project curators choose which photos are uploaded; any community member can download a photo or tag a photo. Community volunteers are engaged in dating and tagging photos in community "tagging and dating circles" (typically over zoom). The platform enables any GLAM or other institution or individual (for example a blogger) to embed any version of the archive into their own website, essentially disseminating the tool as much as the photographs. The software is publicly available, and the project is always looking for partners (typically public libraries).
Fortepan is a publicly accessible photo archive that aims to preserve and share Hungary's visual memory of the 20th century with Hungarian society - and, of course, anyone else interested in the subject. The collection is free for anyone to use--users can download any image. Users can also help tag images to make the archive more searchable. Community members donate photos, a team scans the photos at high resolution (1300 px), returns them, curates the collection, and uploads the curated images to the archive. Its easy accessibility generates a lot of public use, bringing an otherwise passive archive collection to life, and its small size makes it easier for the public to find and donate photos that don't end up in the trash.
A free-to-use community archive with main goal to preserve the common past of the Israelis, their everyday lives since the 19th century through the times of the young state of Israel, till 1998. Dokuforte locates, digitalizes and gathers photographs, primarily from individuals, families and from professional photographers, public institutions as well. In addition to family photos, Dokuforte would like to expand the collection with the works of amateur and professional photographers, as well as materials from community collections.
Historypin develops and maintains storytelling methods used by cultural organisations, civic organisations, councils and community groups to build stronger communities, expand their communities and bring their resources to life. It is a photo sharing and mapping site focusing on local history and location, connecting communities with their history.
With the support of the public, VIDA aims at establishing a valid and comprehensive informational database on industrial archaeology and heritage of Greece. It includes an open request to website visitors in an effort to record the history of their own places and keep them in the collective memory. The team acts as a collective interdisciplinary effort that attempts to record, survey, document, rescue (in physical or digital form), disseminate and promote, raise public and state awareness of the Greek industrial heritage.
Open Siddur is described as a volunteer-driven, non-profit community project that develops a vast collection of digitized Jewish prayers, liturgies, and related works, growing a free & libre open access archive. Its mission is to make the content of Jewish liturgy accessible for creative reuse, indexable and searchable as digital texts for students, scholars, artists, and educators. The use of technology is highlighted as an important added value for the protection and dissemination of these documentary minority collections and the project aims to produce a free software toolkit for making custom Jewish liturgical books that can be displayed on screen or printed to paper, creating a collaborative publishing platform built around a social network with people passionate about the siddur. It is worth mentioning that this is described as a non-denominational and non-prescriptive community project.
DIG IT UP brings the urban culture of Rotterdam to light by actively working with the public to unearth image and sound material to share with the city, showcasing the urban heritage. Through exhibitions, documentaries, publications, talk shows and online platforms, DIG IT UP aims to show a new and different side to city history.
A continuously growing "reservoir" or archive for historical information and images, documenting the events, people and changes of a town and/or community, with material provided by the population. A Topotheque archive has to be locally organized by a regional manager. This manager is always a public institution (municipality, association, district, school etc.). Public members are invited to submit images, videos, objects, documents, audio, and names of people to the local Topotheque administrator. So the project grows through the submissions of community artefacts.
Art Pluriverse aims to uplift intangible & natural heritage in the Balkans, empowering communities of practice by documenting traditional knowledge in open, educative and participatory ways, together with artists and researchers. It involves communities of practice in scientific research, co-documenting their traditional knowledge by complying with scientific standards and open science principles. The participating communities self-govern the co-documented data and the outcome of the project is the creation of open-access community archives. In addition, communities collaborate with artists and share their traditional knowledge, co-creating art in various forms (e.g. documentary, new media).
Archipelago Network is an initiative for research and documentation of audiovisual heritage, culture, and material knowledge on Greece’s Cycladic islands. Individual archival projects, such as "Anthemis," develop citizen science tools including a toolkit used on a rolling basis by interested community members. Archivists from the organisation work with community stakeholders throughout research process. The research residency is linked with the archive encouraging socially engaged artistic projects related to archival materials.
An interactive collection and exhibition combining history, art, and storytelling with community outreach and collaboration in order to reckon with systemic racism by examining the legacy of redlining in Barnard and Columbia’s neighbourhood. Working with members of Barnard’s neighbourhood, including faculty, students, and unaffiliated community members, the project creates a digital archive of contributions to educate about the connection between race, real estate, and wealth inequality in the US.
An archival project launched by the University of Cape Town Libraries (UCT) to safeguard and make accessible a decade of audio-visual documentation of the HIV/AIDS struggle. Since 1998, the non-profit organisation Community Media Trust has been documenting the social impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the grassroots struggle for treatment in South Africa, creating extended video footage. The UCT/Community Media Trust AIDS Archive provides a comprehensive record of the most powerful social movement to have emerged in post-apartheid South Africa, the HIV activist movement. It is a crucial resource of ‘primary source’ material for researchers.
The project is dedicated to the contribution of the Bashkirs to the liberation of the Netherlands in November-December 1813 from Napoleon's troops. It is embraced by the Bashkir community and diaspora. In addition, the locals in Wijhe and Veessen (Heerde) are also proud of this history. The academic community of historians specialised in the Napoleonic area also got interested in this effort. Interestingly, because the Bashkir language is related to the Turkish language, it also captured the interest of the local community with Turkish roots. The project is in line to reach out to different communities stimulating cross-cultural dialogue.
DR has digitized 138.000 historic press photos with only few metadata. Some years ago they invited Danish citizens to help describe the photos with tags. The project is still alive. So far 445.083 tags were added by the community. It is an example of a long-term online crowdsourcing initiative.
Picturing Michigans Past is a crowdsourcing transcription project for 100.000 real-photo postcards hosted via Zooniverse. The growing industry of amateur photographers, plus expanded mail service, led to an explosion of postcard popularity and a diverse range of images starting in the early 20th century, forming a rich resource for research into the local histories of Michigan. As stated by Claire Danna, these images capture an American society straddling rural, agrarian, pre-industrial life and an increase in mechanization, urbanization, and electrification. This collection can tell us a lot about what it means to live in Michigan, and to feel a connection to Michigan.
Crowdsourcing platform aiming at enriching pictorial heritage with additional metadata, mostly hosting historic photographs from Estonia. The platform is open for people to actively participate and engage with historic photographs, uploading their own media and enriching data. Community can be understood within the broader sense of people with a common historical background and knowledge of local history and living heritage.
An initiative aimed at uncovering and recovering patterns, engaging students, designers and researchers in enriching Wikipedia through creating patterns of fashion objects. The pattern-a-thon has been based on MoMu’s Study Collection, recently remade available in the MoMu-bibliotheek & Dries Van Noten Study Center. It started with a small workshop on pattern-making; then, the participants created patterns of the objects in the Study Collection and donated them to Wikimedia Commons, for everybody to use and re-use. It is an edit-a-thon inviting members of the fashion community to help grow the knowledge on the archival collection.
An initiative of over 1,500 international volunteers who are collaborating online to digitize and preserve Ukrainian cultural heritage. Since the start of the invasion, SUCHO has web-archived more than 5,000 websites and 50TB of data of Ukrainian cultural institutions, to prevent these websites from going offline. The websites range from national archives to local museums, from 3D tours of churches to children’s art centres.
"Widen European Access to cultural communities Via Europeana" aims to develop a framework to link the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural communities, safeguarding the cultural heritage which they represent. It includes several capacity-building activities to develop a closer connection between cultural heritage institutions (CHIs), minority cultural communities and Europeana. Communities are sought out by cultural and higher education institutions, actively participating in the co-documentation of their content and knowledge.