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Collaborative Research in the Digital Age: Crowdsourcing the Get to Know Medieval Londoners Project

Recorded on 6 December 2023

Speaker: Grace Campagna (Fordham University)

In recent decades, rapidly advancing technology has transformed academic collaboration and paved the way for increasingly equitable, accessible, and engaging scholarship. Since its June 2022 launch, the Get to Know Medieval Londoners project has leveraged this momentum to invite diverse voices into the exploration of place-based history. At its core, the project relies on the Zooniverse digital infrastructure, a versatile crowdsourcing platform offering an inclusive space for the public to participate in data collection, processing, and analysis for various hosted projects.  

Get to Know Medieval Londoners highlights a remarkable resource in the Institute of Historical Research's collection: thousands of handwritten, modern English translations of property deeds from medieval London. The Zooniverse platform enables anyone with an internet connection to aid in digitizing and producing structured data from these underutilized records. Through largely unencumbered access to historical material and communally-produced reference guides, the project empowers participants to make interpretive observations and contribute to the scholarly discourse on London in the later middle ages.  

Delving into the collaborative possibilities that advanced technology offers, this seminar will showcase a unique partnership between historians and a group of volunteers unrestricted by geography or traditional academic structures. 

Grace Campagna received her MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University in 2022. Now an independent scholar, she leads the Get to Know Medieval Londoners project and has been a contributing editor for the Medieval Londoners website and database since 2020.   

This event is co-hosted by the IHR’s Centre for the History of People, Place, and Community and its online community history project Layers of London.

IHR Seminar SeriesPeople, Place and Community

Collaborative Research in the Digital Age