Promoting cross-border co-operation between archives and the general public
co:op – community as opportunity. the creative archives’ and users’ network
Together, 17 institutions from 11 European countries successfully launched this project to strengthen and promote the co-operation between archives and other institutions preserving our common cultural heritage and to encourage involving the general public.
Wanted: an active community!
In the age of digital information technology and the constant availability of information through the Internet, it is not only important to have democratic access to knowledge by means of digital tools, which is more and more taken for granted, but to focus on the amazing potential that lies in the critical production and expansion of knowledge.
It has become more and more important to actively question and include the general public as seismographs and creators of their own socio-cultural dynamics, in order to encourage awareness of individual responsibility and the right to have a say.
One project – many ways
In the course of the project a large number of activities will be initiated with the objective to deliberately include the general public, tap their potentials (crowd sourcing) and promote the close co-operation with archives. The scope of activities ranges from further developing possibilities for the open source description of archival records, to the expansion and deepening of university teachings based on and with the help of digital archive portals such as Monasterium, to the organization of international conferences that invite researchers and users to meet and exchange at eye level. It will be possible to consolidate historical documents from private individuals digitally, which will serve to enrich our common history with personal details (topotheque).
Finally, there will be educational initiatives of the creative kind that aim for encouraging young people to explore “archives” as such, unbiased and guided by their own curiosity, thus sharpening their awareness of cultural identity.
The community – consisting of institutions and users, in other words the general public – carries the seed of novelty, of the original, of progress. Let us use and encourage it together!