Project facts

Duration: 2020-09-01 - 2023-08-31
Project coordinator: KU Leuven
Project consortium: KU Leuven (Belgium); National Technical University of Athens (Greece); Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (The Netherlands); Photoconsortium (Italy); European Fashion Heritage Association (Italy); Web2Learn (Greece).
Funding bodies: CitizenHeritage is co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, project number 2020-1-BE02-KA203-074727
Subject areas: Digital Heritage, Collections, Mediation - Education, Community involvement
Contact: For any question or information: info@photoconsortium.net Follow CitizenHeritage https://www.citizenheritage.eu/contact/

Presentation

CitizenHeritage is an Erasmus+project (2020-2023) which will provide Higher Education Institutions with new insights and opportunities to include Citizen Science activities for social purposes into Higher Education Institutions curricula, teaching and learning activities.

It will develop a selection of good practices on how to benefit from the knowledge circulation in and outside academia and how to adopt a more vibrant role in civil society. The digital realm, with the digitisation of vast collections published in open access, and the growing availability of tools for online engagement and interaction, opens up incredible new possibilities to further stimulate knowledge creation and circulation in cooperation with citizens.

Engaging citizens in education and cultural heritage curation: A general reappraisal of citizen generated content is taking place in the cultural sector today. Cultural Heritage Institutions are constantly looking for new ways to involve citizens in their activities.

Collaboration with the Cultural Heritage sector: The project will engage with stakeholders and professionals in the digital cultural heritage domain, establing collaboration for knowledge sharing and co-curation between academics and stakeholders.

Focus on technological innovation and participation: The project aims to test how the latest technological innovations to manage digital cultural heritage can support and enhance Citizen Science participation, both from a pedagogical and heritage perspective.

CitizenHeritage will deliver a range of events across Europe to experiment with and disseminate about citizen engagement in cultural heritage, in the scope of enabling better collaboration between Higher Education Institutions and the Cultural Heritage sector.

These events comprise:

  • workshops to enable citizen participation and citizen science activities with digital cultural heritage collections
  • seminars and outreach events to disseminate the project’s methodology, resources, tools and results and enable further replication and uptake by others, thus multiplying the project’s impact to a larger community of stakeholders

The project includes three universities (KU Leuven, National Technical University of Athens and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), two Europeana domain aggregators (Photoconsortium and European Fashion Heritage Association) and one specialized SME (Web2Learn).

BACKGROUND: Convincing exemplary projects have demonstrated how citizen engagement appeal and digital participation are essential in crisis situations such as climate change and pandemics. Yet the potential or the scope of community involvement in scientific research haven’t been fully explored so far. CitizenHeritage takes the citizen science approach to the world of cultural heritage, where the digital realm creates new opportunities to reach out to broader audiences and facilitate community building.

AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH: The project encourages citizen science in cultural heritage through the application of crowdsourcing and co-creation tools to some of Europe’s largest open digital collections. It contributes to the notion of European citizenship by enabling stakeholder communities to jointly take responsibility for their heritage, advocating an open approach to otherness and a European community spirit surmounting regional and national differences.

MAIN ACTIVITIES: CitizenHeritage will address researchers in the field of Cultural Heritage, including PhD and Master students from different relevant research fields (Cultural Studies, (Art) History, Memory studies, but also Digital Humanities, Cultural Economics and software engineering) to train them in inducing, governing and leveraging on citizen participation, digital crowdsourcing and co-creation. These methods and activities will teach students how to take sustainable and economic viable decisions when engaging citizens. In order to optimize efficiency, CitizenHeritage will map and critically assess current practices with regards to their educational value and user friendliness. But the project will also develop and test new methods and activities, making use of large European digital collections that help to highlight the relevance and power of cultural diversity.

TARGETS: While the cultural heritage professionals of tomorrow – students and PhDs – are a vital target audience both in terms of developing and transferring the insights gained through the project, other stakeholder communities will be involved in CitizenHeritage too, including amateur culture enthusiasts and non-specialized European citizens.

Impacts & Results

CitizenHeritage will provide Higher Education Institutions with new insights and opportunities to include Citizen Science activities for social purposes into Higher Education Institutions curricula, teaching and learning activities. It will offer them a selection of good practices on how to benefit from the knowledge circulation in and outside academia and how to adopt a more vibrant role in civil society. The digital realm, with the digitisation of vast collections published in open access, and the growing availability of tools for online engagement and interaction, opens up incredible new possibilities to further stimulate knowledge creation and circulation in cooperation with citizens.

cover image courtesy of CRDI Ajuntament de Girona: Retrat d'un grup de normalistes (estudiants de mestra a La Normal) durant una estada al Col·legi del Carme.