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Friday, October 01, 2004

Your story

A couple of days ago I posted a link to the 24 Hour Museum in the sidebar links. Their city heritage guides had been highlighted as a useful cultural resource by help is at hand. The guides included local history information and features written by community groups and local residents, local news and city trails which outline the citys main sights.

I was impressed, it’s a great site. But the real gem for me was the fact that it offered the chance for you (and me) to be involved in its development and growth. This is done through Storymaker, the 24 Hour Museum's online authoring tool.

They are looking for groups and individuals to send in trails, histories and features that represent different aspects of the heritage of their area. These can fall under any of the following categories:

Group work
They are “particularly keen to receive stories developed in a group context. So if you are involved in a community group, local history group, a reminiscence group, an after-school club or a museum outreach group and would like to contribute a story or online exhibition - please get in touch…” If you are involved in a group project that you would like to digitise and publish on the web they suggest that you can contact them and they will discuss it with you, offering help and advice should you need it.

Trails are longer features that take a theme and then expand it by telling the reader about the different museums, galleries, heritage sites and other locations (such as buildings, homes and statues) that help explain the story.

For example, you may wish to send something that tells the history of your housing estate or your community. You could do this by sending digital photos and words that illustrate the key locations such as houses, businesses, places of worship and social clubs.

Personal Stories
If you have a personal story you would like to share you can also do that here. It have to be too long. It may be a simple account of your working life in a factory or it may be wartime reminiscence or a story about another member of your family.

And lastly they are also looking for reviews of museum, gallery and heritage related events in your city too. So there is really something for everyone!

I know of a local elderly community group who are hoping to capture their past by using IT to document their life stories. I hope that Storymaker is something they could also consider using as an extension to that. That way their stories are not just captured but shared. It is after all, stories like theirs that are the real treasures we should try hard to preserve.


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