I am a historian of modern Britain, with a background in oral history; my research has focussed on various aspects of working-class life in C20th Britain, with publications exploring changing patterns of sociability in the post-war ‘age of affluence’, working-class health voluntarism, and agricultural history. I also have experience organising university Knowledge Exchange programmes, and an employment background in museums. As an oral historian, a historian of working-class life, and a proponent of the History Workshop approach, I’ve always had an interest in the coproduction of knowledge. This links well to my current post as Research Associate on the ‘Our Heritage, Our Stories’ (OHOS) project.
OHOS is a Discovery Research Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of the ‘Towards a National Collection’ programme. The project engages with the ‘community generated digital content’ – digitally enabled citizen history that has resulted in a large and complex body of content which could immeasurably enrich our national and global understanding, but which remains untapped, hard to find, and at risk of disappearing. See the project website here: https://ohos.ac.uk
OHOS comprises researchers at the University of Manchester, the University of Glasgow and the National Archives. I work with Professor Hannah Barker in the ‘History Lab’ team, which is based here at Manchester. Our task is threefold: to act as historical consultants on the project, helping to design products that meet the needs of historians; to liase and consult with historians and creators of Community Generated Digital Content (CGDC) to build a ‘community of practice’; to demonstrate the historical value of CGDC by producing ‘use-cases’ drawing on this material.