Communicating local histories

Communicating local histories

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen are investigating how online communities are changing the way local history is written and remembered.

The research team, led by Professor Claire Wallace, Vice-Principal of research, and Professor Chris Mellish of computing science, looks at the ways online communities are preserving local history in collaboration with local history societies on the Outer Hebrides.

Professor Wallace said, “In the twenty first century, we are able to digitise historical material such as photos, personal documents and archival records, which enables us to search out information in ways that were never possible before.

“Through the use of the most recent computing science we are able to provide people with ways of storing, linking and extracting historical information in ways that are meaningful to them.

“The research raises questions about how digital archives can be used in local communities to form a sense of identity and belonging.

“The development of digital archives in constructing heritage is increasingly becoming a valuable resource for tourism or for researching family histories”.

The research features in the Research Councils UK (RCUK) ‘Big Ideas for the Future’ paper that explores the research taking place in UK higher education at the moment.

‘Big Ideas for the Future’ features projects from all fields including science, engineering, social sciences, medicine and the arts and humanities.