A Month in the World of Computer Science: Bursary Research Assistant for Crowd Curating History Project

Posted by Laura White

For the past month I have been lucky enough to partake in the multi-disciplinary crowd-curated history project, this project aims to develop and produce an application which will allow people to have influence and freedom over their own community’s history. The application centres round Augmented Reality technology which allows users a personal and interactive level of involvement, this technology is currently being used all round the world and has been seen to have fantastic results when adopted into visits around museums and historical sites.

My role at this stage of the project involved data collection, analysis and exploration, my colleague and I collected new data through semi-structured interviews which were then transcribed alongside a large amount of previously collected data. Using thematic analysis these transcriptions were collapsed, coded and then described through the main themes that were generated. We also had the opportunity to carry out several face to face interviews with visitors and locals around the Cathedral which was extremely enjoyable. We learnt about a variety of fascinating and lovely stories, from the local’s busker interaction with Tony Robinson to the Lincoln born horse and carriage driver appearing on my Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We also heard the story of a lady who used to skip school to go and hear the organ play, and a gentleman who was part of a team who helped rewire the Cathedral by the end of which his team know the words to all the hymns. These stories added to my excitement and enthusiasm for this project, as it will allow for significant stories from the community to be collected and preserved. Not only that but the reported memories represent how important and influential the Cathedral is for the Lincoln community. This project will help add something to the community that is extremely worthwhile, if only it had been done sooner!

Through the analysis of data which was carried out, we found that visitors, locals and Cathedral associates alike were all extremely enthusiastic for this upcoming app. Many expressed the hope of a more involved, undivided community which would help keep up with the financial demands of the Cathedral. There was also excitement for a new form of information that could be used to during visits and afterwards by guests and Cathedral associates. These were just a few of the positive aspects expected from the final production of the app.

Overall, I had a lovely time working alongside some fantastic people within the media and computer science departments; it was interesting to see how those from different disciplines work together. I am sad that my part in the project has come to an end but look forward to keeping up with future developments.

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