Digitally Democratising Archives: Case Study 9

Cinema Nation: Tag L8 — Cinema Nation worked with participants to create an interactive online platform that could hold community archive material from the Liverpool L8 area, alongside training resources.

Digitally Democratising Archives: Case Study 9

1. Project overview

Tag L8 was a research and development initiative involving community archivists and activists from the Liverpool L8 area. Cinema Nation worked with participants to create an interactive online platform that could hold community archive material from the Liverpool L8 area, alongside training resources. A key aim was to explore how materials could be made accessible to the residents that they feature. Gathering local people’s views and interactions on how archives are preserved and stored, and how material is categorised, was integral to the project. The platform focuses primarily on film but also holds photos and voice recordings.


2. Project stats

Data accurate as of April 2022:

  • Eight core participants took part over four workshops, with a further 110 people attending project talks and events.
  • 124 visits to the Tag L8 web page.
  • 30 local organisations engaged in supporting the delivery of the project.


3. Key successes

  • Bringing diverse groups together.
  • Developing an understanding, from the community’s perspective, about what archiving and tagging means.
  • Cinema Nation have a clearer sense of purpose, as an organisation, that they would like to continue working in archives and community heritage.
  • Cinema Nation successfully created three different prototype platforms, (, Cube Cinema and Cesium), for local community video. Each platform has its own features based on how different groups want to interact and what is most important to them when it comes to viewing archives.


4. Key learnings

  • Cinema Nation and the participants learned about good practice and ethical considerations when creating a community video archive, including issues of permissions, respect and accessibility.
  • Holding the online sessions was a big learning curve; because of the structure of the sessions and the diversity of the participants involved, it brought a new set of considerations about how to hold a safe space.
  • Working with archive film within the community brings up strong emotions, some of which are hard to describe or process, but are linked to the real value of archives: ‘It can bring people together, but on the flip side it can divide people’ (Project lead).


5. Top tip

Start with respect and set healthy boundaries to hold community spaces. Never underestimate the power of the community.


6. Link to digital outputs


7. Attribution

Digitally Democratising Archives (2022) by The Audience Agency supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Digitally Democratising Archives (Opening Archives) was an action research project, designed and led by The Audience Agency, supporting 10 organisations to explore archives, community engagement and digital tools. It was funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2021/22 as part of the as part of the Digital Skills for Heritage’s Connect Heritage programme.


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Published: 2022
Resource type: Case studies

Creative Commons Licence Except where noted and excluding company and organisation logos this work is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) Licence

Please attribute as: "Digitally Democratising Archives: Case Study 9 (2022) by The Audience Agency supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, licensed under CC BY 4.0


More help here

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