Know Your Place (www.bristol.gov.uk/knowyourplace) is a highly innovative web-based tool that engages local communities in shaping the stories of their neighbourhoods. The intuitive, map-based interface provides access to a wide range of place-based data, including historic maps from Bristol’s archive collections and the Bristol Historic Environment Record (HER). The concept and design brief for the resource was created by Peter Insole in Bristol City Council’s City Design Group in partnership with Andrew Ventham of the Council’s Corporate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team. Part-funded by English Heritage and working with local communities, the aim of the tool is to enable people to access a wide range of historic archive material and use this to inform decisions about planning at the neighbourhood scale. It also allows members of the public to upload images and information about heritage places and by doing so takes a crowdsourcing approach to HER data enhancement.
Here we discuss a collaboration between Bristol’s communities, Bristol City Council and University of Bristol that sought to enrich Know Your Place with oral histories and still and moving images gathered during a series of workshops held across the city in 2012. Specifically, we will outline the background to the Know Your Place interface and discuss the potential of home movies and videos to produce archaeologically relevant information. By including and validating domestic and informal image production – from the family photograph to the 35mm slide to the Super8 film to the home movie uploaded to YouTube – we potentially alter relationships between community and formal planning processes by utlising the strengths of specialist and local knowledge. How we reach a consensus about the value of place is essential in creating better quality environments and better care for the heritage of our places.
Special edition of journal, edited by Don Henson.
- Community archaeology, place, space, planning, moving image, memory