The ‘Citizen Scholarship’ model offers a new approach to working with volunteers to build capacity for small cultural and heritage institutions. Find out more about how it works and explore example projects here.
You may already be familiar with ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’ projects, such as Planet Four – in which members of the public can help planetary scientists identify and measure features on the surface of Mars – or In the Spotlight – in which the public is asked to help by marking out dates and venues on eighteenth century playbills held by the British Library.
In contrast, our model of citizen scholarship involves training and support for volunteers in co-designed, participatory projects. Our volunteers develop and utilise research methods closer to those of humanities scholars: adopting interpretative, contextual and analytical methods, acknowledging potentially differing understandings of historical evidence, and – at least in the initial stages of research, being prepared to encounter difficulties in finding, categorizing and understanding relevant material. We invite you to look in more detail at our successes and challenges via the different projects explored below.
Bromley House Library, founded in 1816, is a flourishing independent lending library situated in the centre of Nottingham and is one of the few remaining subscription libraries in the country. The building houses nearly 50,000 books and the library has a large and enthusiastic group of members, many of whom were already volunteering for the library in running […]
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The Heritage Lottery Funded project ‘Our Theatre Royal Nottingham: its stories, people and heritage’, which ran from March 2017 to April 2019, was the testbed for our model of citizen scholarship.
Derby Theatre is located in the intu shopping centre in the centre of the city. Formerly known as Derby Playhouse, the theatre was founded in 1975 and has been in run in collaboration with the University of Derby since 2009. Through this partnership, it is both a learning and producing theatre – providing undergraduate and […]