Do your bit to document the East End

Sensing Place: Mapping Memory in the East End is a crowdsourcing project that gathers people’s photographs of Tower Hamlets for a new community heritage website.

The aim of the project is to create a digital platform for people from all over the country to research and publish their sense of heritage, and discover what it is that makes their community. Tower Hamlets is the perfect place to begin this project, as few places can boast of more diverse and interesting heritage.

When the project is finished, the result will be a resource that can be utilised by schools and colleges to teach their students about the importance of heritage and community. The project has been created by the University of Winchester to create a common approach to community heritage. Through this, the University aims to understand what people value in their communities.

The University has drawn inspiration from the work of the social historian Ralph Samuel (1934-1996) and his commitment to ‘history from below’. According to the University, understanding the importance of heritage to all parts of a community has a positive social, economic and cultural role to play, and funding from HEFCE and the Higher Education Innovation Fund has bought together a team of heritage professionals and people who love community heritage.

In bringing the project to Tower Hamlets, the University of Winchester has partnered with a few local schools, including John Scurr primary school and the Morpeth school sixth form. Now, it is time for the public to get involved.

The next stage of the project is for members of the public to head to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives to pick up a disposable camera. The next step is to go wherever you like in Tower Hamlets and take pictures of 24 things or places that interest you. The photos can be of any place or thing that you find interesting, including schools, murals, roads, pubs, houses, places of worship, parks or even lap-posts, but must not be of people.

The Library & Archives act as the pick-up and drop-off point for the cameras – all you need to do is fill out a form and return the camera by Monday 30th April.

For more information, visit the Sensing Place: Mapping Memory in the East End’s website here.

If you are a fan of local heritage check out the following local community-led archive groups Living in Bow and Living in Globe Town.


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