image: WeAre#EuropeForCulture crowdsourcing event in Nicosia, December 2019.

courtesy of Cyprus University of Technology

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

A project 2020-2023 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.

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.

CitizenHeritage’s aim was to provide Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with new insights and opportunities to include Citizen Science activities into HEIs curricula, teaching and learning activities. The scope is to enrich the curricula and experiences of university students in this domain, who will be the cultural heritage professionals of the future.

Further, CitizenHeritage developed and made available to Cultural Heritage Institutions (CHIs) tools and resources for implementing participatory approaches and methodologies that include crowdsourcing and Citizen Science activities in Cultural Heritage research, practice and sharing.


The project included three universities (KU Leuven, National Technical University of Athens and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), two Europeana domain aggregators (Photoconsortium and European Fashion Heritage Association) and one specialized SME (Web2Learn).

Access all project’s outcomes:

Research on citizen science and participation projects

CitizenHeritage produced a substantial, evidence-based Study for a review of practices of Higher Education engagement in citizen enhanced open science in the area of cultural heritage. It defined best practices regarding HEI organisation, open practice, sustainability, and civic engagement. It also identified untapped potential where HEIs can play a more active role thus to connect civic  engagement with the open science virtuous circle, in the Cultural Heritage sector.

Citizen science and participatory events

CitizenHeritage delivered a range of events across Europe to experiment with and disseminate about citizen engagement in cultural heritage, in the scope of enabling better collaboration between Higher Education Institutions and the Cultural Heritage sector.

These events comprise:

  • workshops to enable citizen participation and citizen science activities with digital cultural heritage collections
  • discover the workshops >>>
  • seminars and outreach events to disseminate the project’s methodology, resources, tools and results and enable further replication and uptake by others, thus multiplying the project’s impact to a larger community of stakeholders
  • discover the multiplier events >>>

Methodology and self-assessement checklist

This tool was developed for CHIs and HEIs in the process of planning an activity with cultural heritage collections that includes citizen participation e.g. from local communities, seniors, students, amateurs. Through a set of focused questions and feedback, this tool helps understand whether the right approaches and methodologies for citizen science are being implemented in the organization and planning, so to grant a high-quality, successful citizen participation event.

The tool also points to relevant materials, guidelines and methodologies about citizen participation and citizen science initiatives.

Educational videos

As part of the activities coordinated by partner Erasmus University Rotterdam, a series of six educational videos was produced by students on their experience of studying and managing crowd-based heritage projects.

The series is entitled Citizen Heritage 101.

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