Crowdsourcing user-generated content: using the Oxford Community Collection Model to engage audiences and create collections

Alun Edwards, University of Oxford, UK

How do you create an online archive with contributions from people who are not digitally literate? How can you get contributions from those who do not have time to contribute? How can you encourage people to engage with and be engaged by an online resource? How can you create a digital collection of high quality at a low cost? These are some of the questions where the answer can be found through the Oxford Community Collection Model.

The Oxford Community Collection Model brings together online crowdsourcing and face-to-face engagement, and has been successfully used to create digital, user-generated collections since 2008. The model has been used to create collections of different size and scope, including an international collection of World War 1 memorabilia (, a treasure trove of freely available Anglo-Saxon educational material ( and an archive of material relating to 750 years of college life in Oxford (

This workshop will introduce the model and provide examples of how to implement it for a community collection. We will look at different approaches and technical solutions and discuss how to engage a community. Examples will be drawn from successful projects of varying scale, showing how the model can be adapted to suit different projects and communities.The session will be led by staff from the University of Oxford and draw on their experiences of planning, supporting and running community collections of different scope and scale in local, national and international contexts. Participants will be encouraged to participate actively, using the session to discuss their own ideas and examine how they could be implemented in their context and community.