Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Co-Curate: working with schools and communities to add value to Open collections

Lookup NU author(s): Simon Cotterill, Dr Martyn Hudson, Dr Katherine Lloyd, James Outterside, John Peterson, Ulrike Thomas, Lucy Tiplady, Dr Philip HeslopORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Co-Curate is an AHRC funded cross-disciplinary project working with schools and community groups in the North of England, which combines use of Openly licensed materials from museums and archives with informal community based resources. A participative Website has been developed to enable students to create ‘mashups’ of materials from existing Open collections and mix in their own materials to co-curate stories of the North East. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of how we have used Open collections in both formal and informal educational contexts and to share our initial findings in relation to stakeholders knowledge and perceptions of both using and contributing Open licensed materials. The Website ( builds on previous JISC-funded work with Dynamic Learning Maps, AHRC projects, and related OER innovation projects. Regular automated harvesting of selected collections, including license information are fed into the Website, including photographs, videos and other materials via Europeana, Flickr and YouTube. These include collections from regional and national collections of museums, libraries and other sources; with historical photographs and video clips. The site currently includes over 20,000 resources and 1,000 topic pages. The system also allows participants to add ad-hoc resources from the Web or upload their own resources, with a choice of license options, including All Rights Reserved, but with the default set to CC BY-NC 2.0 The project team have worked with a diverse range of community and school groups. Levels of knowledge of copyright and licensing varied by group, but were generally low. Groups were almost universally keen to use Openly Licensed from collections but some were reluctant to make their materials Openly Licensed, or in some cases even publically accessible. On the other hand some groups were keen on Open Access from the onset. In both cases issues around copyright and licenses were a major component of ongoing discussion with groups as part of the co-curation process. Schools are involved in a range of co-curation activities, with varying use of the Website. An ongoing large-scale pilot with a High School integrates use of the Website as part of a scheme of work over several weeks culminating in the students giving an exhibition in a prominent regional gallery. This includes work to use the photographs, videos and other resources and to create pages and add new resources. Much of this can be loosely classed as ‘enquiry-based-learning’, but there are also sessions of unstructured ‘self-organised learning’. In relation to Open Access we will report on student and teachers’ use of resources and perceptions of Open Licences, when using resources on the Website. The educational value of granular OA materials (in contrast to large structured OERs) will be of interest in these pedagogical contexts. Co-Curate is an innovative project using OA materials in a range of educational and cultural settings. Learning from the project in relation to technical and pedagogic use of OA and perceptions of OA will be shared and participants will be able to access Co-Curate at the OER15 conference.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tiplady L; Cotterill SJ; Thomas U; Heslop P; Peterson J; Outterside J; Lloyd K; Hudson M; Coburn J; Robinson P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Open Educational Resources - OER15

Year of Conference: 2015

Online publication date: 03/04/2015

Acceptance date: 14/02/2015

Date deposited: 16/06/2015


Notes: Full URL [checked 16/6/2015]