Migrant Life Stories as Digital Heritage


  • Malin Thor Tureby
  • Jesper Johansson




migrants, digitization, oral history, patrimonialization, digital heritage, participation, co-creation, life stories


Following the ambitions of international and national policy makers to digitalize the cultural heritage sector, a growing research field that deals with digitalization and cultural heritage has emerged. However, it has been argued that too much focus has been placed on technology and information policy issues and that research on how to achieve administrative effectiveness and preservation has taken precedence over studies of different actors’ engagement, participation and access to cultural heritage. Previous studies have also tended to problematize the “hows” rather than the “whys” of processes associated with digital heritage and digitalization. In addition, research has shown that collections documenting minorities and marginalized groups have been excluded from national strategies concerning the digitalization of cultural heritage. Therefore, the aim of this article is to investigate why and under what conditions digital heritage about and with migrants has been initiated, created and curated. We study the motives and the roles of different stakeholders in the digitization and patrimonialization processes of one collection containing life stories from migrants. Furthermore, in the article we understand stakeholders not only as decision makers, owners or managers, but also as any person or organization that feels affected by whatever happens to the object or piece defined as heritage. Consequently, a central element in the methodology of this research was the interviews conducted with crucial actors in relation to their engagements with the studied collection. During the interviews, we paid specific attention to the different motives of the involved stakeholders and why it was important to them that the collection was created and digitized.


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