Community and Heritage Co Labs

Welcome to the HeritageLab Co Labs, a space for online grassroots memory museums dedicated to preserving collective memory and community narratives from around the world, as well as connecting heritage across oceans and trade routes through shared tangible and intangible heritage.


Community Co-Labs

Jumping from unofficial to official status greatly impacts a heritage site and affects its ownership, and it is HeritageLab’s ambition to understand personal connections as a way to incorporate self-reflection into the meaning of a location. These digital labs include oral histories (video, audio, and/or print), documentation, photography, and video. Made by and for the communities, they are not exercises in nostalgia. Rather, the maps challenge authorized heritage narratives from national and international heritage institutions, with the goal of safeguarding community narratives that have been erased, forgotten, or endangered by various factors such as war, tourism, globalization, modernization, and the institutionalization of the heritage industry.

To support the communities, this public access, independent online platform brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers, educators, web developers, and community organizers. HeritageLab’s ambition to understand personal connections as a way to incorporate self-reflection into the meaning of a location. Our contributors do not aim toward a solution-oriented approach but rather consider heritage as a matter of ethics and practice.

Transoceanic Heritage Labs

The Co-Labs also shed light on historical connections between societies worldwide, going beyond traditional national boundaries in the heritage preservation industry to consider maritime heritage. Through a critical exploration of narratives from across time periods, regions, cultures, and ways of life, we seek to foster a deeper understanding of the intricate networks of narratives that have shaped our shared heritage. We challenge the perception of heritage as a static past.  Instead, heritage is a dynamic force that continues to shape the present and future of communities around the world.

The Science / Digital Heritage Lab

This lab concentrates on the scientific and engineering methodologies applied in heritage studies and management, including threats to heritage – such as climate change and conflict. Research undertaken under this cluster investigates heritage sites and museum collections through the application of scientific, engineering, imaging, nuclear, and particle physics techniques. Additionally, digital Heritage is a growing field of research developing methodologies for recording, conservation, and presentation of cultural heritage, using systems within sciences and (digital) humanities to analyze holistically. Both tangible and intangible heritage.