The Blackpool Museum Project team has met hundreds of people keen to share their memories and stories of Blackpool. It is clear that Blackpool has left a very strong impression on so many people, and for some it has shaped their careers and lives.
We are keen to capture these stories to support the content of the museum, but we want to do this in a way that celebrates the vibrancy and creativity of Blackpool, and is a rewarding experience for the storytellers.
In February 2016 staff and volunteers received training in digital storytelling with Alex Henry the founding director of Curiosity Creative, a social enterprise which is dedicated to creating and archiving digital stories made by people in the North East of England.
Sharing stories through film
Digital storytelling is a practice that allows everyday people to share aspects of their life story through the creation of a short film known as a digital story. The practice originally emerged in the United States in the 1990s and was later introduced to Britain. It is now gaining in popularity and has been made much easier with the development of tablets and iPads, easy to use video editing software, and online video sharing platforms such as Vimeo.
“Anyone can create a digital story, about any aspect of their life. Digital storytelling gives a platform for voices to be heard, it boosts confidence and creativity and it helps us understand each other.”
In this video Alex explains what digital storytelling is;
Digital storytelling has huge benefits for the project, as opposed to oral histories or written testimonies, which are time consuming to produce and have limited use in the long term. While an oral history recording will need further research to draw out a key story or anecdote, a digital story is a complete product which is really engaging and can be easily shared online or used in the museum displays.
Creating digital stories
Creating a digital story is a highly rewarding experience for everyone involved. It lets people tell their own stories in their own voice, supported by images and film which brings the story to life.
Over the four days training we were introduced the concept and practice of digital storytelling, and how to help people find and create their own digital stories. We had a chance to make our own stories and then we helped five storytellers create their own digital stories.
Our storytellers represent some of the people who have contacted Blackpool Museum Project over the last year and were eager to share their personal stories or memories with us. Each storyteller prepared a draft script of their story and brought photographs to illustrate their story. We then worked with them to put the digital story together.
One of these storytellers was Leslie Melville, who lives in Blackpool and is a professional magician. This is his story;
Thank you to Leslie for sharing this story with the Museum Project
The other four stories will be shared through the museum blog over the next couple of months so watch this space for more digital stories.
If you are interested in creating a digital story please contact the museum team at email@example.com