ACCORD: Archaeology Community Co-production of Research Data

Stuart Jeffrey, Alex Hale, Cara Jones, Mhairi Maxwell, Siân Jones, 2017

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Stuart Jeffrey, Alex Hale, Cara Jones, Mhairi Maxwell, Siân Jones (2017) ACCORD: Archaeology Community Co-production of Research Data [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Oscar Williamson of the Rhynie Woman group using a tablet to record information for the 3D photogrammetric model of the Pictish inscribed Craw Stane, Aberdeenshire. Photograph by: Hayley Keane (Rhynie Woman).
ACCORD: Archaeology Community Co-production of Research Data

The ACCORD project ran between 2013 and 2015 and was a partnership between the Glasgow School of Art, Archaeology Scotland, the University of Manchester’s Archaeology Department and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. ACCORD was one of eleven projects across the UK to be awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Digital Transformations Connected Communities programme (AH/L007533/1).

In the summer of 2014 the ACCORD team worked together with 10 community groups across Scotland. The project team worked together with groups who had pre-existing relationships to heritage places, to create digital records, including 3D models, of those places. The heritage selected for recording was entirely community defined, and ranged from Rock-Art to Rock-climbing venues. With the support of visualisation technologists, researchers and practitioners in community engagement, community groups designed and produced their own records which are archived here with the Archaeology Data Service.

The research programme of ACCORD addressed issues arising from existing forms of practice in digital recording, where it is generally expert forms of knowledge and/or professional priorities, rather than community ones, which inform the digital recording process. ACCORD brought accessible and easy to use digital technologies such as photogrammetry and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), to community work. In the process, the project sought to understand how relationships with heritage places and notions of value and authenticity are transformed and addressed through the co-production of digital records. Crucially, the resulting outputs have been integrated with expressions of community-based contemporary social value and additional contextual information such as photographs, stories and memories to create a richer record of the site in question and of the recording process. All ACCORD outputs are deposited with the Archaeology Data Service under a CC-BY license for free reuse. The ACCORD project has demonstrated that its co-production methodology can enhance a site’s existing value and significance and generate distinctive new types of value associated with both the site in question and its digital record. The outputs of the research programme of the ACCORD project are in the process of peer-reviewed publication.

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