The East Riding Blockdown first launched towards the end of January 2022 as an experimental action research project working with young people between the ages of 5-16. We are grateful for our funding and ongoing support from The Audience Agency as part of their wider Digitally Democratising Archives initiative, aimed at bringing together archives with communities using digital technology.
Note: All photos are published with parental / guardian consent.
The Audience Agency’s grant enabled us to construct our Archiverse in the Minecraft video game and use this world as an interactive learning space for collecting and archiving young people’s experiences about the COVID-19 lockdown. At the centre of the Archiverse is a reconstruction of the Treasure House, home of the East Riding Archives, where participants can explore and see other young people’s Minecraft creations.
In the Archiverse, participants would make their mark on East Riding history by building or writing about their lockdown experiences. These creations would then be archived in the real-world East Riding Archives as digital records for permanent preservation, with a view to inspire and assist researchers of the future when writing the history books about the unprecedented and challenging COVID-19 period.
You can view the East Riding Blockdown collection (reference ERBP) on our archives catalogue.
Via the Blockdown project, we hope that young people will be inspired by their role as history makers and how their stories will transcend through time, whilst increasing awareness of what archives are.
Since January 2022 we have worked with over 120 young people aged between 5-16, and several organisations:
- Delivered in-person ‘Archiverse Minecraft’ events during the school holidays at the East Riding Archives, Bridlington Central Library and Beverley Library (YOIKS Teenage Reading Group).
- Presented at conferences such as XRchiving.London and delivered project presentation at The Audience Agency’s Dissemination event.
- Delivered workshops to schools, including two schools at the Tech Week Humber 2022 held at Wilberforce Sixth Form College and Hull College.
In December, we were delighted to see that Blockdown had been featured as a case study for “digital” in The National Archives “A Year in Archives 2022” publication. TNA’s annual publication aims to “celebrate the exciting, creative work of archives” across the sector and we are proud that the project has been chosen.
How can you be involved?
The East Riding Blockdown is always open to new participants. If you know of a young Minecraft player who would like to add their voice to East Riding history, visit our project website for details on how to register or contact Hannah Stamp, Archivist, at email@example.com
The East Riding Blockdown is supported by The Audience Agency’s Digitally Democratising Archives project thanks to funding from DCMS and the National Lottery, as part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.