Migrant (R)e-Collections

22 - 26 August 2016

Venue: Lorentz Center@Snellius

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The aim of the NIAS-Lorentz Workshop Migrant R(e)-collections is to stimulate national and international research and cooperation between humanities, social sciences, computer scientists, heritage stakeholders and migrant communities to develop a global template to preserve, enhance and research migrant collections in their context through new digital technologies.

All over the world migrants have left multiple traces, deep traces that are indispensable for the fostering of heritage communities and for research in the humanities and social sciences. Yet, the growing societal demand for cultural services and the increasingly insufficient resources available to manage migrants’ cultural heritage is creating a gap -- one difficult to bridge even as the importance of cultural heritage to a country’s economy and social capital is widely recognized.

This workshop will respond to this key challenge of how to preserve and enhance transnational public and community memory practices through new digital technologies. Because heritage can be both a focus of research and a source for cultural engagement, especially in the construction of meaning and identity, new digital architectures and new digital preservation techniques and Linked Open Data standards offer new possibilities for scholars and migrant community members alike.  

The central research question addressed in this workshop therefore is how to develop standards and strategies for linking the diverse resources through digital methods, community governance and sustainable practices. It explores cultural heritage from a wide range of social science and humanities perspectives and disciplines that include leading representatives from academia, the archives, libraries and museums (both public and private) sector. It provides a distinctive and major intersection into contemporary memory mediation practices as currently researched, understood and practiced around the world within the context of developing an international standard for linking collections.

Bringing together for the first time ever global leaders working in cultural heritage and digital technologies, this workshop will examine memory institution practices at both the public and private level in a time of profound social, political and technological change. It will start giving answers through devising and showcasing inventive digital experiments, empirical research and innovative digital approaches that link across migrant heritage collections in preservation, connection and dissemination by addressing five central themes. The workshop will have two white papers as outcome: one on cultural heritage and data linking for the more institutional stakeholders and one on infrastructure (for developers with suggestions on dissemination to a broader public).

The five themes are:

- The Methodological Underpinnings of Migrant Heritage Studies

- Diversity and Connection in Migrant Cultural Heritage

- Linked Data and Heritage, the Dutch Migrant Minorities as Case Studies

- Metadata and Heritage in Context

- Participation in Cultural Heritage



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