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.
The aim of this project was to research and co-curate both a physical archive and a digital archive of the venue’s rich history through public engagement with the local community. Having aimed to recruit 30 volunteers, the enthusiasm for the Theatre Royal in Nottingham meant that in total, 60 volunteers participated in the project and – taking on roles on different aspects of the project programme – were trained to acquire basic research and related technical skills as what we are calling ‘citizen scholars’. This model of ‘citizen scholarship’ involved us providing support for our volunteers in adopting interpretative, contextual and analytical methods, facing potential research challenges, and recognizing different perspectives and approaches in understanding the rich and complex history of the Theatre Royal Nottingham.
See the digital archive created by the Our Theatre Royal volunteers