Partners in History: Collaborations in Regional Heritage
University of Hertfordshire
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Our project builds on the University of Hertfordshire's commitment to academic-community partnerships in history and heritage http://heritagehub.herts.ac.uk/. Through a partnership with three Hertfordshire All Our Stories (AOS) groups in Smallford, Sopwell and Wheathampstead, we will explore new ways of doing collaborative research and embedding skills and knowledge across regional and academic communities.
The first strand of activity, a programme of bespoke training in oral history and archival prospecting, has been determined in consultation with the AOS groups. We will mentor groups throughout the research process, developing skills (the art of questioning, an ear for the telling story etc) and building confidence. Through partnership with Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) a similar and responsive programme of activities will be provided around archival resources.
We believe that the University can play a vital role in connecting projects and research across the region and beyond. Our ambition here is to go beyond a 'local for locals' framework and encourage participants to feel part of an (inter)national endeavour. Our second strand of activity is therefore designed to enrich the AOS groups’ research contexts. Digital story-telling (viaDigiTales) and digital mapping (via Historypin) can make research into a multi-way, international conversation, enabling participants to locate discrete projects in variegated regional and global contexts. Our intention here is to give substance to a notion of communities connected in a shared historical landscape. This stream of the project will also address issues of fragmentation and sustainability beyond the formal life of AOS activities.