War Child: A practice-led model for collaborative collections-based research
This jointly delivered paper will highlight examples of innovative collections-based research practice, fostered through initiatives designed to develop increased academic engagement with the University’s Special Collections.
In 2013, Teresa became one of the first supervisors of a ‘practice as research’ PhD supported by the University’s Collections-Based Research programme. Drawing on her own research expertise in theatre and filmmaking this led to opportunities to pioneer new practice-led methodologies and approaches to impact and engagement for collections as well as research.
The collaboration between researcher and collections’ professionals helped to identify and exploit strategies for enabling a wider audience to engage more effectively with archives, resulting in two mixed-media projects, The First World War in Biscuits and War Child. The latter web-based resource is a digital ‘mixed-media book’ incorporating audio-material, video-footage, photography, and inter-layered textual narrative.
In collaborating on both projects, Teresa has developed inter-disciplinary, dialogic methodologies; from this, we suggest that working-models for democratising heritage and for generating new personal, curatorial and institutional intersections might be extrapolated. Kate will consider how MERL & Special Collections actively engages collaborative creative projects. Teresa will discuss her practice-as-research process and the potential application of working models for future creative collaborations and impact.