Citizen Heritage

Citizen Science Practices in Cultural Heritage: towards a Sustainable Model in Higher Education

A new project co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme, to empower Citizen Science and participation in cultural heritage as a booster for higher education.


Project duration: 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2023

What it is about

CitizenHeritage provided Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with new insights and opportunities to include Citizen Science activities for social purposes into HEIs curricula, teaching and learning activities. It offered them a selection of good practices on how to benefit from the knowledge circulation in and outside academia and how to adopt a more vibrant role in civil society. The digital realm, with the digitisation of vast collections published in open access, and the growing availability of tools for online engagement and interaction, opens up incredible new possibilities to further stimulate knowledge creation and circulation in cooperation with citizens.

The project’s innovative contributions are:
1. its ‘making citizens part of the workflow’ approach.
A general reappraisal of citizen generated content is taking place in the cultural sector today. CHIs are constantly looking for new ways to involve citizens in their activities. The advantages are obvious: (i) a deeper engagement with the collections; (ii) increased ownership; (iii) tapping into new sources of information, knowledge and perspectives; (iv) improving openness. CitizenHeritage will teach (future) employees of the cultural sector how to include citizen-centered approaches in their workflows.
2. the close collaboration it establishes with the Cultural Heritage sector
Via the active participation of Photoconsortium and European Fashion Heritage Association, the project will engage with stakeholders and professionals. It will establish a strong collaboration and network for knowledge sharing and co-curation between academics and stakeholders. The stakeholder involvement will allow us to take into account the expectations of the cultural sector towards citizen engagement.
3. its focus on technological innovation
The participation of Web2Learn and NTUA in the project is particularly to test how the latest technological innovations can support and enhance CS participation, both from a pedagogical and heritage perspective.
4. its analysis of the conditions favouring sustainability
CitizenHeritage will explore the degree to which CS can be an element to stimulate sustainability by promoting social ownership of cultural heritage knowledge. To do so, this project proposes the conceptualization of cultural heritage activities engagement as a cultural common in which value is created by social engagement between HEIs, CHIs and citizens at large. Based on variables of governance, financing and social engagement, we will then examine the conditions under which CS makes both socially and economically sustainable contributions.


  • KU Leuven
  • National Technical University of Athens
  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
  • Web2Learn
  • European Fashion Heritage Association


Citizen Heritage is co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, project number 2020-1-BE02-KA203-074727

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Photoconsortium, International Consortium for Photographic Heritage

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