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Co-Curate: Working with Schools and Communities to Add Value to Open Collections

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Journal of Interactive Media in Education Volume 2016, Number 1,


Co-Curate North East is a cross-disciplinary initiative involving Newcastle University and partner organisations, working with schools and community groups in the North East of England. Co-curation builds on the concept of the "ecomuseum" model for heritage based around a virtual territory, social memory and participative input from the wider population. The project also leverages open licencing and facilities to harvest and repurpose collections of photographs, video clips, and other artefacts. Technologies were developed to support co-production and co-curation, including facilities to combine ("Mashup") materials from formal collections of museums and archives with Open Access (OA) content from informal community-based resources. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the technologies used and developed during the project, with a particular focus on how Open collections were used, in both formal and informal educational contexts. A diverse range of community and school groups participated in the project, including a large-scale pilot with a High School which integrated use of the Website as part of an "enquiry-based" scheme of work over several weeks, culminating in the students giving an exhibition in a prominent regional gallery. Levels of knowledge of copyright and licensing varied between groups, but were generally low. Issues around copyright and licenses were a major component of ongoing discussion with groups as part of the co-curation process. Co-Curate is an innovative project using OA materials in a range of educational and cultural settings.


Cotterill, S., Hudson, M., Lloyd, K., Outterside, J., Peterson, J., Coburn, J., Thomas, U., Tiplady, L., Robinson, P. & Heslop, P. (2016). Co-Curate: Working with Schools and Communities to Add Value to Open Collections. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016(1),. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from .

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