The Heritage Partnerships Team has been working closely with the Manar al-Athar Photo Archive team to develop knowledge exchange and community engagement activities within and beyond the University of Oxford. As a result of this collaboration and in partnership with the Oxford University Careers Service, we are pleased to announce that in November-December 2020 Manar al-Athar will be participating in the first round of The Student Consultancy (TSC).
The Student Consultancy (TSC) is a new programme of learning and development activities organised by the Oxford University Careers Service. It provides employability skills training and work‐based experiences to undergraduate and post-graduate students and researchers, whilst at the same time giving free consultancy to local businesses, charities, and community organisations (Clients). After an initial induction period facilitated by the University of Oxford Careers Service, teams of researchers undertake short, limited scope projects for clients.
The Manar al-Athar open-access photo-archive, based in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford, provides high-resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, publication, and heritage work. These images of archaeological sites, buildings and artworks, cover the areas of the former Roman Empire which later came under Islamic rule (Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Egypt and North Africa), and adjoining regions. The chronological range is from c. 300 BC through the Islamic period. Material is labelled in both English and Arabic to facilitate regional use.
The photo-archive was originally conceived as a resource for teaching and research, and the higher education sector (both in the UK and worldwide) remains a key audience. However, Manar al-Athar is also seeking to expand its user base, in which context the project is currently collaborating with the Oxford Student Consultancy. The Student Consultancy team are working to identify potential new target audiences for Manar al-Athar and to develop strategies to engage these audiences based on their interests and needs. The focus is currently on identifying audiences in the UK, but it is hoped that the engagement strategies developed might subsequently be adapted to expand user groups in the Middle East and North Africa, the archive’s primary geographical focus.
The Student Consultancy scheme has provided a wonderful opportunity for Manar al-Athar to share its work with students from a range of academic backgrounds, who are able to bring new perspectives to the project’s challenges. We are excited to see what public engagement strategies emerge from this collaboration.
Manar al-Athar Photo Archive
Oxford University Careers Service
TORCH Heritage Programme Homepage