The Multisensory Archive…

The Multisensory Archive as an Ethnographic Research Method

This seed project aims to investigate the ways in which sensory ethnography and the digital archive might be synthesised, generating new fieldwork methods and new ways of knowing. The theoretical framework for this relationship has been explored by Johannes Fabian in ‘Ethnography as Commentary: Writing from the Virtual Archive’ (2008) but this project aims to generate a practical output that will test the relationship using the case study of an urban regeneration project.

This project aims to provide the network with:

  • A series of recommendations for the synthesis of sensory ethnography with the digital archive and a reflection upon the contribution digital archives might make to ethnographic fieldwork.
  • A critical evaluation of both the process and results of transforming a community space into a digital archive.
  • The opportunity to contribute to a project that provides the public with virtual access to a privileged space of great historical and cultural importance.

(Jackson, Case for Support)


Key Participants

Tom Jackson is a Research Associate in New Media in The School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. Following a successful commercial career working for various creative and digital agencies across Yorkshire, he made the move into higher education in 2004. Bringing together interests in cross-modal perception, cultural geography, anthropology and digital media, Tom’s current research relates to sensory ethnography and new forms of digital archive. This branch of academic enquiry has generated considerable interest.