My research project is titled “Local voices, worldwide conversations: generating a meaningful assessment for the online dissemination of cultural heritage projects”. It looks at cultural heritage in a digital context, using oral history and ethnography to explore understandings of the roles played by digital technologies in the articulation and construction of experiences of belonging and locality in a globalised world. I am particularly interested in local projects, in how these are assessed and appreciated (the concept of their “value”).
Word cloud from research proposal (created at http://wordle.net)
The issue of value is relevant within the context of ongoing technological changes that effect and alter the expectations of cultural heritage institutions and groups. Strategies of collection and dissemination have changed as digital technologies have developed, from the way sounds and images are recorded, to the manner in which they are made available to the public.
Changing dissemination potentials in terms of format and reach, and changing audience expectations, are challenging cultural heritage organisations such as museums, archives and oral history projects to reassess and re-imagine their approaches to access provision.
My research engages with the work of a community-based ethnographic/folklore project (the Cork Folklore Project) to assess their participation in online forms of dissemination. The aim is to study of the impact and benefits of a community-based narrative place-making project and to gather data that will be used for the development of guidelines for the execution and review of online cultural heritage projects.
This research is funded by the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme (2013) and is being carried out as part of a structured PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities and at Béaloideas/Department of Folklore and Ethnology at University College Cork.