Image of the front of the Theatre Royal in Nottingham

April 13, 2017, by Erin Snyder

Digital Innovation in Arts Impact

As Digital Research Manager, and previously as Digital Humanities Manager, I’ve been working with a number of digital Arts projects over the last few years. A lot of that work has been about helping researchers to use digital tools to enhance the process of doing research. For this case study, I plan to investigate a different question—how can digital tools help Arts projects involve more people?

This case study is working with two projects, both led from the Faculty of Arts—one in the School of English, and one in the School of Cultures, Languages, and Area Studies.

The first project will work with a variety of partners, including Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, to assist a project that is digitising archival holdings about the theatre to involve more participants. There will be an element of crowdsourcing: both soliciting material and memories from the crowd, but also exploring crowdsourced transcriptions of the archival material.

The second project takes a different approach, building on an earlier project that worked with storytelling practitioners. I’ve arranged a follow-on collaboration between the Arts academic and researchers in the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, which will lead to the development of a hybrid digital-physical object. This object will form part of a gifting experience that will engage participants with the material and concepts arising from the earlier research.

Through running both projects, I’ll be learning about the process (and pitfalls!) of engaging a wider audience and encouraging meaningful digital interaction with Arts research. This learning will then carry on in how we design future projects, and the kinds of services and support we offer at the University of Nottingham.

Blog posts in this series:

  1. Storytelling objects
  2. Our Theatre Royal Nottingham
  3. Storytelling objects – Prototype and Design
Image by mattbuck (category) (Own work by mattbuck.) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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