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Strokes of serendipity: Community co-curation and engagement with digital heritage

Mutibwa, Daniel H; Hess, Alison; Jackson, Tom


Alison Hess

Tom Jackson


This article explores the potential that community–led digital engagement with heritage holds for stimulating active citizenship through taking responsibility for shared cultural heritage and for fostering long-lasting relationships between local community heritage groups and national museums. Through the lens of a pilot project titled Science Museum: Community-in- Residence, we discovered that — despite working with community groups that were already loyal to and enjoyed existing working ties with the Science Museum in London, U.K — this undertaking proved challenging owing to a range of structural and logistical issues even before the application of digital devices and tools had been considered. These challenges notwithstanding, the pilot found that the creation of time and space for face-to-face dialogue and interactions between the Science Museum and the participating community heritage groups helped to establish the parameters within which digital co-curation can effectively occur. This, in turn, informed the development of a digital prototype with huge potential to enable remote, virtual connectivity to, and interactivity with, conversations about shared heritage. The ultimate goal was two-fold: (a) to help facilitate collaborative sense-making of our shared past, and (b) to aid the building of sustainable institutional and community/public working ties around emerging affinities, agendas and research questions in relation to public history and heritage.


Mutibwa, D. H., Hess, A., & Jackson, T. (2020). Strokes of serendipity: Community co-curation and engagement with digital heritage. Convergence, 26(1), 157-177.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 30, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 26, 2018
Publication Date 2020-02
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 26, 2018
Journal Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Print ISSN 1354-8565
Electronic ISSN 1748-7382
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 157-177
Keywords Virtual collections; 3D modelling; Science Museum; community-in-residence; Ceramic City Stories; Bute Island Heritage; access; social history; active citizenship; community-institutional partnerships
Public URL
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