On Thursday afternoon (17th Jan) I met Andrew Flinn (@andyucl) for a coffee. He is a senior lecturer in UCL Department of Information Studies and director of their MA Archives and Records Management. We were initally in touch via my previous post at the Science Museum on the AHRC/HLF ‘All Our Stories’ community research development awards. He is an investigator on UCL’s ‘Dig Where We Stand’ project. We talked about our mutual interests in understanding history from below – here I’m particularly influenced by the public history movement and Raphael Samuel. Andrew’s interests relate specifically digital environments and participatory approaches to understand why people research their own history. He is supervising two CDAs in this subject area, with the Wellcome Collection and National Archives respectively. As I’ve posted before – collaborative doctoral awards are a means to access a range of institutions usually off-limits to behind-the-scenes research – I look forward to hearing a bit more about these projects as they evolve. We talked about the possibilities of community-generated history sites – how successful they are and what makes citizen science different from local history projects – which actually got us thinking about an event to bring researchers in this area together. It was a great chat and I’ve invited Andrew and his students to put something together for our ‘participatory science‘ conference sessions. I hope they do!