SCARLET+ working with the Mass Observation Archive

The Mass Observation Archive (MOA) is based in Special Collection at the University of Sussex Library. It was established in 1937 as a social observation project in which people around the country were recruited to become what Mass Observation’s founders described as “the cameras with which we are trying to photograph contemporary life”. It provides researchers with a vast collection of qualitative data on many subject themes and over the past ten years, the Archive has been involved in various digitsation and metatdata projects to increase the accesibility of collection not only to researchers but to those who wish to use it to teach at all levels from children to doctoral student level.

The availability of the original project material inspired the establishment of a second phase of collecting which began in 1981, called the Mass Observation Project (MOP). It is this material which we are using to work with SCARLET+. We have digitised a selection of MOP material as part of a JISC-funded project Observing the 1980s. All this material has been cleared on a CC-BY Creative Commons licence to be used to create a number of Open Educational Resources (OERs) that will be embedded in a 2nd year History course run by Dr Lucy Robinson at the University of Sussex.

SCARLET+ is going to offer us exciting opportunities in Special Collections. We will be working with e-learning and academic staff at Sussex to trial the toolkit and explore the potential for embedding Augmented Reality into teaching at the institution. Additionally the Special Collections will be moving to The Keep in summer 2013. The skills learnt by staff will be taken to The Keep and disseminated to other departments and external partners.

Posted by Jane Harvell
Institutional lead at the University of Sussex

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