“Hacking Heritage” is a research project located at Maastricht University. It is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the KIEM scheme since June 2014. The project investigates how hacking and making practices may be integrated in GLAM institutions (galleries, libraries, archives, museums). It is a cooperation between:
- Dr. Karin Wenz (project leader) and Dr. Annika Richterich (co-applicant) who pursue digital media research at Maastricht University,
- the Betawerk ICT company,
- the Social Beta Foundation in Heerlen, and
- the Continium Discovery Center Kerkrade.
Together, we will explore and investigate how cultural assets, such as the mining heritage in Limburg, may be combined and redesigned by using digital technologies. We will particularly focus on the relevance of hacking and making communities and their involvement in cultural institutions. We will address the ways in which new user practices can relate to heritage: by hacking those objects, turning them into digital data and visualizations, by interacting creatively with material and digital tools. The project’s aim is to show how collaborative efforts bringing together hacking/making communities and GLAM institutions can be mutually beneficial. Our research is particularly relevant in the context of initiatives such as OpenGLAM and for developments regarding open data in cultural institutions.
The project combines interventional research methods with an ethnographic framework: by organizing two hackathons, we will gain insights into new strategies for heritage institutions such as the Continium while likewise drawing on these events as research material. Based on initial field research, hackathons are insightful events which allow for investigations of technology appropriation, practices of digital innovation and collaboration.
Hacking Heritage and the MACCH
Hacking Heritage is a flagship project of the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH), an interdisciplinary research centre of Maastricht University that brings together researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law (FL), the School of Business and Economics (SBE), the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, and the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL).