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Beyond Collections: Crowdsourcing for public engagement conference 2011




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Once Upon a Time...
Melissa Highton, University of Oxford



KEYNOTE: 'Don't Panic Mr Mainwaring!'
Robert Ashton, The Barefoot Entrepreneur

Tales of Big Society.


A Tale of Two Cities: Physical and Digital Communities
Hope Wolf, Kings College London
The JISC funded project Strandlines explores one of London's most famous streets, the Strand, and its past and present communities. It seeks to find whether the telling of life stories might help develop a more 'active sense of community' in a transient urban area. It is the flagship project for the Centre for Life Writing Research at King's College London, and draws on expertise from different academic disciplines and departments: English Literature, Geography and e-Research. Hope will be discussing the important role creativity played in the project; the ways in which the past was connected with the present through life writing classes; and the interplay between digital and physical places. Hope will also offer news of the AHRC's SPICE project (Stimulating Participation in the Informal Creative Economy) which enables exchanges of ideas between different community groups.
or “…apart from that he was completely naked…” and other stories of the amazing everyday in the community
Chris Morgan ‘Mog’, University of Glamorgan, GEECS
Stories hold a special power to engage people and when those stories are personal, honest and genuine they can captivate and inspire in a way that excites, moves and motivates us. All personal stories have a special honesty that the storyteller themselves is not always conscious of, as so much can be said in a pause, a change of tone and a turn of phrase in which we hear the truth and genuineness of experience. As part of the Communities 2.0 digital inclusion project Mog’s team collects digital stories that community members make for themselves, their community, family and friends using technology that many experience for the first time. This is the story of their work to date.


Character Journey
Valerie Wallace and Tim Causer, Bentham Project, UCL
The story of the super-transcribers involved in the project to understand the thousands of manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham.
or Choose Your Own Adventure
Chris Wild, The Retronaut
'Time Travels’ from the creator of How To Be A Retronaut and inventor of The Retroscope, and a leader of the Museumpreneurs.



Acland Building


A Road-Movie
Alun Edwards and Stuart Lee, University of Oxford

For the Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten project, a team from Oxford trained librarians and archivists in Germany to run public participation days to gather everyday objects from World War I. The road trip to these digitisation days was gruelling - the results were staggering.


A Cautionary Tale
Arfon Smith, Zooniverse / University of Oxford
The experience of The Zooniverse team with their citizen science and crowdsourcing efforts and the changing role of the citizen scientist.
or A saga of creativity
Gail Durbin, Victoria and Albert Museum
How can a nationally focussed museum use their web presence (official and on social networks) to foster the interest and expertise of users, as well as sharing their own authoritative information?
or A Nursery Rhyme
Melissa Highton, University of Oxford
Sustainable Collections: How does your garden grow? Contrary to expectations Oxford University's crowdsourced and community collections of open educational resources continue to thrive on fertile ground inside and outside the institution. Melissa will give an overview of the ways in which these are supported and embedded in practice for sustainability.



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A History of the World
Jane Ellison, Partnership Development Manager, BBC Audio and Music

The BBC and the British Museum asked the public, do you have an object which connects you, your family, or your area to a major historical moment? Museums in all parts of the UK were also encouraged to create their own history of the world from their collection and from their visitors’ objects.


The Sequel
Alastair Dunning (JISC), Stuart Lee (University of Oxford), and Chris Batt OBE

Debate and discussion about academic crowdsourcing and community content in the UK and beyond, with highlights and interesting ideas from the day. Also look out for news of future JISC funding.


And They All Lived Happily Ever After.
Melissa Highton, University of Oxford



Please join us for a glass of wine in the foyer to mark the end of the conference and the success of RunCoCo.


Chair for the day: Chris Batt, OBE

Host: Melissa Highton
RunCoCo Project Manager: Alun Edwards

Community collections speakers:

  • Robert Ashton, The Barefoot Entrepreneu
  • Alistair Dunning (JISC)
  • Gail Durbin (V&A),
  • Alun Edwards (RunCoCo, University of Oxford)
  • Jane Ellison (BBC),
  • Stuart Lee (University of Oxford),
  • Mog (University of Glamorgan),
  • Arfon Smith (The Zooniverse / University of Oxford),
  • Valerie Wallace and Tim Causer (University College London),
  • Chris Wild (The Retroscope),
  • Hope Wolf (Kings College London),

Booking Information

This event is now fully booked.