Collections of Ghent not standing still: mobile box to tour three districts soon

18 Apr 2021

Creating a bridge between cultural heritage, technology and the residentsof Ghent: that’s the ambition of the Collections of Ghent, a large-scale collaborative project that meemoo is supporting. The CoGent box is a high-tech mobile experience space that tours Ghent to bring residents and heritage together. We let you know that the project was up and running at the end of 2020, but what has happened since? Find out here.

Three living, experiencing districts

From the 25 districts in Ghent, three were selected for the CoGent box to visit in 2022. This was no easy task, which is why the City of Ghent’s ‘Ontmoeten en Verbinden’ (Meet and Connect) department set up a think tank - which meemoo is a part of – to make a well-considered decision. The honour ultimately fell to the districts of Watersportbaan-Ekkergem, Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham and Wondelgem, each chosen because of their local characteristics and the opportunities they offer.

Wondelgem is the place to be for young families, with its village feel and green character. It already has an active community life, but there are still lots of opportunities to enhance connections between residents even more. The historic district of Watersportbaan-Ekkergem has a wide-ranging demographic and is home to residents of all ages in its many apartment blocks. The many knowledge and heritage institutions in the vicinity also add to its great potential. Thirdly, the truly diverse neighbourhood of Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham was selected because of all the cultural initiatives springing up like mushrooms there, with still many more opportunities to make new connections.

What will the future bring? Now that the selection has been made, we can get started with finding the ideal location for the CoGent box within these districts’ suburbs. And all sorts of activities are being organised to prepare for the mobile box’s official welcome in 2022.

Explainer video about the Collections of Ghent made by Chase.

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Meemoo’s role in this story

Meemoo has an advisory role in this community-enhancing project. The participating heritage institutions are sharing lots of collection data to fill the CoGent box with all kinds of objects, and meemoo is helping to make this information accessible. A special Data Intervention Team has been set up to take care of cleaning up and unlocking the data in order to streamline this process.

How are we using our expertise in this project?

  • We organised a bootcamp to train the Data Intervention Team on topics such as linked open data, IIIF and dealing with rights.

  • We provided input for the Data Management Plan, for the duration of the project as well as afterwards. This manual emphasises the importance of reusing data, and the privacy and ethics involved in dealing with it.

  • We’re supporting the establishment of the Cultural Data Lab – an experimental laboratory in De Krook for anyone who wants to get creative with cultural data. Physical activities and innovative experiments can also take place as soon as Covid restrictions allow.

  • We’re helping to write the Cultural Data Lab Community Action Plan.

We’re planning more workshops on a wide variety of digital topics, from simply making your own GIFs to writing SPARQL queries, in the future. We’re also considering opening this up to professionals from the broader heritage field as well as the CoGent partners.

Want to make sure you don’t miss anything related to the Collections of Ghent? Watch the video report of the launch meeting and follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.