Groundbreakers is a site-interpretation project which will peel back the layers of social, cultural and environmental history of the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park. Backed by the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Canals and Rivers Trust, the project explores the industrial history, archaeology and post-industrial legacy of what is now the Olympic Park. It does this by means of two trails, a programme of community engagement and work with local schools. Groundbreakers is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by our partners, The Building Exploratory. The trails will be launched in spring 2019. For further information contact Katie Russell. 


Citizen atlas of london

This project will create an online atlas with material produced by a network of citizen mappers concentrated in the major regeneration areas identified by the London 2050 Infrastructure Plan. The Atlas will use a variety of approaches to narrative mapping to document citizens’ stories and perceptions of London’s past and present, and their hopes for London’s future. We are producing a toolkit of resources and a prototype of the Atlas. 

The project is supported by a programme of public lectures by leading analysts and activists. A film, Our Kind of Town has been put together by Aura Productions (see below). Further information from

Aura Productions’ film showing the aims and progress of the project.



(Creative partner: John Wallett of Livingmaps)

In the AHRC funded project ‘Energy in Store’, (2017-18) external researchers have been working with Science Museum Group curators and conservators to explore the potential of the Science Museum Group stored collections. 

The Group’s collections include around 425,000 objects, and in total seven million items including books, archival records, photographs and other media. Although some of these are on permanent display in the museums, and others will feature in special exhibitions and loans to other venues, most of them will remain in the stores for the foreseeable future.
In Energy in Store a small working group of curators and researchers was brought together, united by an interest in the history of energy production and distribution. 

Over the last year that working group has met on a regular basis to exchange perspectives and explore new ideas. We held workshops and visits taking in Blythe House in West Kensington, the Library and Archives at the Science Museum, the Collections Centre at the Museum of Science and Industry, and the National Collections Centre at Wroughton. 

During those meetings the group have discussed around 150 different objects that relate to energy generation and distribution – ranging from a fossilised tree, to dummy nuclear waste, domestic gas meters, early batteries, engines, and models of power stations.  

Visiting the stores and focusing on objects has allowed us to tackle a series of questions How could SMG offer access to the object collections which is better adapted to the needs of external researchers? Where might researchers benefit from a greater understanding what happens ‘behind the scenes’? We have also discussed issues of concern shared by all parties – how could the historical knowledge that external researchers are producing about the objects be more systematically integrated into the museum records? How can volunteer organisations, interest groups and museums avoid intergenerational loss of expert knowledge? What benefits (or hazards) does the digital present to object-based research?

The project has been facilitated by information designer and community arts expert John Wallett, and recorded as a documentary film by Aura Films.

At a final symposium in June we bring some key topics, debates and ideas from Energy in Store to a larger audience of interest groups, the voluntary heritage sector and professional museums staff. We will screen the film, and use the findings from Energy in Store as a provocation for further debate with the audience. 

We will also be publishing further material in the form of a printed publication and an archive of stills photography, audio interviews and supplementary video footage.

AHRC Funding and Delivery
The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant ref: AH/P013678/1 official title: Integrating Forms of Care: building communities of practice around reserve collections).
It is being delivered by Dr Anna Woodham, King’s College London, Jack Kirby, Group Head of Collection Services, SMG, and Dr Elizabeth Haines, Research Associate, Science Museum, London, between July 2017 and July 2018.

Energy in Store page on the SMG website:

Putting yourself on the Map : Workshops for young people

Further information from


Lecture series: Our Kind of Town

A series of occasional public lectures by leading figures in the movement to rethink what London means to its citizens, drawing on its historical record, its contemporary social geography and its future. Lecturers have included Michael Edwards, Anna Minton, Ben Campkin and Emma Spruce. 

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