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Making Digital Heritage about People's Life Stories

Purkis, Harriet (2016) Making Digital Heritage about People's Life Stories. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2016 . [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2016.1190392

DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1190392


Actively creating new digital heritage content about people’s life historiesis part of the democratisation of heritage engagement with the public. Theapproach of documenting unofficial histories is supported by a growingliterature. Unofficial stories contribute new perspectives on the heritageidentity of a region. The case study of the ‘Local People’ exhibition, curatedby the author in 2013 in the North West of Ireland, is used to discuss themethodology of a digital curatorial process, www.localpeopleireland.com.This article argues that gathering and presenting unofficial histories ofindividuals’ life experiences, can disrupt official narratives of The Troublesand challenge a regional identity based on conflict and division. The makingof digital history is analysed as a curatorial process, rather than the easeof use of technology. The methods used included: filmed interviews, newportrait photography and the digitisation of family photograph albums.A virtual exhibition was produced and new digital historical sources werecreated that transform intangible heritage by crystallising people’s voicesand images into ‘tangible’ digital objects. ‘Local People’ utilised Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/localpeopleproject/?fref=ts and Vimeo https://vimeo.com/album/2518991. It is argued that the digital space provides a‘virtual contact zone’ in which diverse, unofficial and personal narrativescan be presented together.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Digital heritage, virtual exhibition, curation, local, people, history
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School > Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Ulster Business School
ID Code:34772
Deposited By: Dr Harriet Purkis
Deposited On:07 Jun 2016 09:28
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:23

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