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Our Theatre Royal Nottingham: co-creation and co-curation of a digital performance collection with citizen scholars

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jo Robinson


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While the major theatre collections of universities and libraries in the UK, Europe and the USA have been long established, and companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company or Ballet Rambert hold their own extensive archives, the past decade has seen increasing attention paid to the need to support smaller theatres in preserving their own records. At the same time, new collaborative practices have emerged in the curation of heritage, often drawing on digital media and technologies: community archives, heritage crowdsourcing and community-university partnerships evidence this participatory turn.This article reflects on an ongoing collaboration with the Theatre Royal Nottingham, UK, and volunteer researchers from the city, to preserve, order and digitally curate the theatre’s 150-plus year history. The project builds on the potential of digital technologies – both to enhance participation and engagement and to most effectively capture and represent the interlinked stories and memories mobilised in the making and reception of theatrical performance. In reflecting on the successes and challenges of the project, we develop a model of what we term ‘citizen scholarship’ in arts and humanities research, which has enabled and supported meaningful and sustained engagement with the theatre’s archive and heritage by community volunteers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robinson J, Carletti L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

Year: 2019

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Pages: 128-148

Online publication date: 24/06/2019

Acceptance date: 02/06/2019

ISSN (print): 1479-4713

ISSN (electronic): 2040-0934

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14794713.2019.1633106


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