Know your place, Know Your Bristol

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: School of Humanities


A programme of work will be undertaken involving collaboration between University of Bristol researchers (including students), the University's Centre for Public Engagement, and community groups in Bristol, focusing on the running of 6 'Roadshows'. These events will focus on different communities or localities, and will also involve different types of community heritage (e.g. memory, historical artifacts, photographs, film). They will include geographical communities (e.g. Hillfields, an inter-war Bristol housing estate), as well as more 'virtual' ones (eg visitors to the Bristol Zoological Gardens). The aim is to make academic research and expertise available through collaboration with local community partners, to aid the production of local knowledge for preservation by community groups, the Bristol City Council 'Know Your Place' project, and for researchers. The events will explore the potential for future programmes of interaction, and development of HLF and other funding bids, and underpin development of sustainable partnerships. They will be recorded through blogging and other social media, as well as through digital media, and the project website will develop a resource-bank outlining how arts and humanities researchers at Bristol can aid, as well as learn from, a wide variety of different local community groups.

Bristol City Council's 'Know Your Place' project has created an open-access interactive map website covering Bristol: layers of historic maps are overlayed on the modern map of the city, allowing users to explore the historic landscape underneath their feet, and the evolution of their localities. The project aims to capture additional user-generated data -- photographs, film, documents, recorded oral testimony, and proactively sought out university researchers to help it develop a strategy with which to achieve this. By collaborating with the Bristol City Council team, arts and humanities researchers will be able to help feed material towards this recourse, and will be facilitated in establishing and consolidating relationships with and between community groups, including newly-established ones such as Kings Weston Action Group.

Planned Impact

There is considerable interest in the initiative from a variety of community & heritage groups, & creative economy partners, including: the Greater Bedminster Neighbourhood Partnership, Greater Fishponds Neighbourhood Partnership, Brislington Community Partnership, Arnos Vale Trust, Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol City Council, and the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society (Bristol Zoo). Other groups will also be involved (e.g. Reflex Camera Club) and we expect publicity about the events, as well as our combined contacts, to attract more groups.

The planned activities would provide specific benefits to these partners and the wider public. It will:
1. facilitate and support interaction with arts & humanities researchers
2. facilitate and support access to University of Bristol resources (expertise, digitization support)
3. provide grant application development support, especially in relation to 2012 HLF bids, but also more widely
4. assist publicity through use of university publicity networks
5. Through this collaboration it is hoped that, where this is not already the case, that communities will better appreciate the value of their own archives in terms of research and wider understanding, and that this leads to a sense of community empowerment.
6. It will facilitate and co-ordinate interaction between different groups and each other, and with the Bristol City Council Know Your Place mapping project.

Letters of support demonstrate how individual partners see the benefits that will arise for them. E.g.:
1. Bristol City Council: collaboration will widen the audience for its Know Your Place mapping project and related activity, as well as encourage new members of the community to engage with the website. Through this collaboration it is hoped that communities begin to appreciate the value of their own archives in terms of research and wider understanding and that this leads to a sense of empowerment for those communities.
2. Bristol Zoo: it will help the Zoo 'to access the memories and memorabilia of a broader cross-section of the public, including from outside Bristol; allow for the further development of its archive, which it hopes to make accessible to outside researchers in the near future; to facilitate and encourage further and wider future collaboration with researchers at Bristol University.
3. Kings Weston Action Group: promoting and securing the ambitions of this only recently-established group to champion the parkland, promote its unique history and secure new proposals for conservation and restoration in line with local needs.
4. Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust: providing training and expertise in personal heritage and genealogical research connected to the memorials in the cemetery and more widely in city cemeteries.
Other groups have indicated support along similar lines.
5. Knowle West Media Centre: assist collaboration across geographical areas therefore creating more connected communities, a platform from which to develop exciting future partnerships and collaborations amongst residents and organisations
6. Greater Bedminster Community Partnership: 'we have both a lot to give and a lot to learn in collaboration with the university on this project'.

There are also significant societal benefits arising from this project's enhancement of, and greater engagement with, the Bristol City Council Know Your Place resource.
1. Participating communities can make a direct contribution to the understanding of the city. As the web resource forms part of the Bristol Historic Environment Record in the Planning Department any validated public contribution can have a material weight in formal planning considerations. The proposed activity will enhance the range and depth of community engagement with the Council project.
2. Such contributions can empower those communities, by providing direct links between their own activity and the formal Historic Environment Record.


10 25 50
Description See final reports:
Know your Bristol Stories - Avonmouth and Shirehampton WWI Stories (PDF, 1,163kB)
And Know your Bristol Stories - Orchard Roots (PDF, 1,496kB)
Exploitation Route see website and reports.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

Description See final report via
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY, MEDIA AND THE POLITICS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE UK, Canadian Archaeological Association Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Following this conference presentation, I was invited to submit a co-authored paper with another conference presenter in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology, edited by Andrew Martindale and Natasha Lyons.

This was a conference for academic and professional archaeologists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description Knowle West Home Movies 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 50 people from local history and archaeology groups in Bristol attended a home movie workshop at Knowle West Media Centre, to explore the potential archaeological value of amateur archives.

Work from this project led to partnerships with Bristol Record Office and ongoing partnership with Bristol City Council
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
Description Your Place or Mine? Crowdsourced Planning, Moving Image Archives and Community Archaeology, European Association of Archaeologists Helsinki 18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Pete Insole and I co-presented this talk in the Social Media session at the 2012 EAA, in Helsinki, Finland. It is the annual meeting of European academic and professional archaeologists.

After our talk, we were invited to submit our paper to a special edition of Archäologischen Informationen, and the paper was published in 2013.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012