Universiteit Leiden

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NWO KIEM Grant for the Digital Disability Archive

Paul van Trigt (LUIH) in collaboration with Paul Bijl (KITLV) and Manon Parry (UvA) received a NWO Creative Industry – KIEM Grant for the research project ‘Digital Disability Archive’ (1 September 2017 – 31 August 2018).

In aging societies people are living longer, raising the likelihood that they will experience disabilities. Disability history is an underutilized source for generating solutions to this societal challenge. The consortium will develop a research hub for collaborative projects and a scholarly article evaluating the design and reuse of disability heritage to address this challenge. The Disability Digital Archive (DDA) will be a virtual hub for the collection and interpretation of experiences of disability, past and present, by students, researchers, disability service organizations, and the creative industries. The hub includes:

1) a digital archive, to share historically-significant documents, images, and multimedia

2) an interpretive space, where curators, researchers, and students will engage with these sources to answer research questions about disability history, resulting in online exhibitions, digital documentaries, and scholarly essays, all presented in the hub and

3) a network zone, facilitating the exchange of information and advice on potential new research questions the hub can be used to answer. The DDA will be the first archive in the Netherlands to gather and analyse a wide range of historical sources on disabilities together, the first shared virtual environment to utilize the cultural heritage of disability to foster and disseminate new scholarly research and creative industry solutions to the challenges of aging societies, and the first to make these accessible online to people with a wide variety of disabilities. The process of designing the DDA and using it for research will be reflected on in a scholarly symposium and published article.

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