RETOLD is a Creative Europe cooperation project running from 2020 to 2024. With Retold, we intend to provide a tool for professionalisation of open-air museums. It is about documentation, digitisation and sharing: The RETOLD project will ensure that open-air museums can continue telling important cultural heritage stories to a diverse public by developing a standardised workflow to collect, digitise, and share data on buildings, crafts, and traditions.
The idea stems from a meeting with Dr Julia Heeb from Berlin which I took up and turned into a funding application with the help of Jenny Inker. RETOLD has 6 partners and a budget of 333,000 EUR. My role is to coordinate the project, while Magdalena Zielinska makes sure we stay within limits.
The problem we want to tackle is that of the lack of good documentation strategies in open-air museums, often because those people founding such a place are not very interested in this aspect. But when the first generation leaves the museum, what happens to the stories they helped develop and share? These stories are the true capital of these museums. Once we have captured these stories, connected to the site or to activities, and once these are digitised, a whole new world of opportunities opens up: “The future is a sandbox; the user can pick up those bits he wants and change the story as he likes. There are no story lines” (personal communication by Justyna Duda, 2019).