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Embracing the Archive: Engaging heritage and archive collections in a digital world (EA)

Contact: Christer Ahlberger, Mats Malm, Astrid von Rosen, Cecilia Lindhé at the University of Gothenburg and Andrew Flinn, Julianne Nyhan and Alda Terracciano at UCL, London

The past two decades have witnessed an increasing interest in the creation of critical trans-disciplinary research platforms to explore the role of the archive in relation to global societal challenges and the space it occupies between the academy and art. The leaders of the Staging the Archives Cluster believe that the mapping, exploration and practical testing of transgressing hybridity requires a structure that allows space for a truly reflective practice. More specifically we engage in the building of research environments and stages for innovative and creative boundary crossing work that continues, as well as in the development of archival educations within the university.Direct connections with heritage institutions, professional and non-professional, and digital technologies are very important and advantageous for people working in the area of archives. The difference in the ‘critical’ approach is that it is more creative and ambitious, such as in the work that is now being developed by the cluster in collaboration with University College London (UCL). Hence the arrangements created and supported by the cluster, aim to ground discourse and the discoveries lying along its path through moments of activities as well as reflection, but also actively creating new and critical archives. Outcomes has been and will be published through texts, photos, multimedia, evidences of theory and practice shared, creating a hybrid map ranging from scholarly texts to multimedia art works.

Among the publications initiated and/or supported by the cluster we would like to mention a forthcoming (2016) number of Ord&Bild (Word&Image), with the theme: Critical Views on Cultural Heritage, and an anthology (eds Jonathan Westin and Anna Foka) on Multi-Sensory Representations of the City, featuring an article by our visiting researcher Alda Terracciano. Visiting researchers Marsha Maskimmon and Monica Sand are in collaboration with the cluster currently (2015) working on an article about critical feminist methodology for the Routledge anthology Gender and Heritage.

For more information about the cluster’s work, please visit our three strands:

Archives, Art and Activism
Archives Mediated: Digital Methods and Materials
The Archive in a Global and Digitized World 




Operational plan



Astrid von Rosen is one of the partners in the recently granted project Turning points and continuity. Read project summary here.

Mats Malm is starting up the project Conjuring up the Artist from the Archives: Ivar Arosenius Digitization and Koordination of Archives for Enhanced Accessibility and Research, funded for 2016-2018 by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. More information on the project can be found here.

GPS 400 involves several of CCHS cluster leaders. The GPS 400 project is a collaboration between researchers from the Faculty of Arts and the Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Gothenburg, as well as partners both at the local and international level. The project establishes a network through which cultural science research is integrated with public participation, whose results and activities are freely available on a digital platform that also serves as database and interfaces. The purpose is to present new and empirically verified results about Gothenburg's historical and contemporary urban culture, as well as to make archive material and research results on these processes digitally available. Find the projects website here.

Page Manager: Jenny Högström Berntson|Last update: 5/3/2016

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