The project

The project "Un/Archiving Post/Industry" won the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023

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The project "Un/Archiving Post/Industry" has won the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2023 in the category "Citizens' Engagement and Awareness Raising". This year, the European Commission and Europa Nostra announced 30 winners from 21 countries.

"Un/Archiving Post/Industry" is a project of the Center for Urban History and the University of St. Andrews in partnership with the Mariupol Local History Museum, Pokrovsk Historical Museum, and Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History, with the support of House of Europe and the GCRF. The project digitized about 30,000 photographic negatives and 82 films, including press photo collections from the 1940s to the 1990s, company archives, family albums, home movies, and amateur films. The project aims to establish a dialogue between generations (through interviews with former workers, engineers, photographers and amateurs who documented the industry), between different regions (stereotypically considered industrial or not), between museum institutions and archive owners, and between Ukrainian and international researchers, artists, and activists.

The project takes place in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine and aims to record unique evidence of community life at Donbas, to counteract the use of the past as a weapon, and to combat the spread of disinformation. Although part of this archive was destroyed in 2022 due to the war, digital copies remain available on the website of the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History.

"This clever and multifaceted project has been a great success in preserving industrial heritage in Eastern Ukraine. With an incredible amount of digital data, the Un/Archiving Post/Industry project has created an excellent archive that stands out for its structure, data quality, and searchability. The open access of this archive ensures its accessibility to a wide range of users. This is even more important in the current conditions of war," the jury noted.

European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2002. For 21 years, the awards have been a key instrument for recognizing the value of cultural and natural heritage for European society, economy and environment.

The awards promote heritage practices in Europe, encourage the international exchange of experience and knowledge, and connect heritage stakeholders in wider networks. 

Other winners in the Citizen Engagement and Awareness category include Village Square Meer, Budapest100, Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), Open for You, ALMADA Project, Via Transilvanica

Another project related to Ukraine received an award in the Heritage Champions category — Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO). We congratulate our colleagues, and thank them for their cooperation over the past year.

The winners will be honored at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony on September 28 at the Palazzo del Cinema in Venice. The ceremony will be the highlight of the European Heritage Summit 2023, organized by Europa Nostra with the support of the European Commission, which will take place on September 27-30 in the World Heritage City of Venice. 

Also, the Public Choice Award 2023 voting is open until August 28, and the winner will receive a €10,000 reward. You can vote for the "Un/Archiving Post/industry" category here:


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Cover Image: a workshop on spoil tip photography in West Lothian, UK // Victoriia Donovan