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An open science approach to the identification, location and participatory characterisation of heritage objects


The notion of open science that has developed in recent years has led to a renewal of working methods in many fields and, more broadly, to a new approach to the economics of research. What impact might this have on heritage science and related cultural activities? What real added value can we expect from a scientific point of view, and what obstacles can this approach help us to overcome?

The ‘Territography’ project is based on the general hypothesis that the open science approach, and in particular participatory science practices, can help to remove some of the existing barriers (quantitative barriers, disciplinary barriers, issues specific to the processing of massive data) to the observation and analysis of so-called minor heritage, and to create new synergies between the scientific community, cultural players and associations.

Territographie is an exploratory project characterised first and foremost by the desire not to study ONE heritage, but TERRITORIES in which heritages are expressed, invented and developed, giving rise to specific identities and memories. Focusing in this exploratory phase on the Durance, Ubaye and Bléone basins, the project aims to bring together three heterogeneous, multi-scale collections: the MUCEM’s ‘agricultural techniques’ and ‘livestock’ collections, isolated or hamlet chapels, and trading sites in Haute-Provence.

The aim of the project is to build a ‘participatory science’ platform around these collections, i.e. to act as a relay for existing initiatives in these areas (particularly those originating in associations), and if necessary to call on Internet users to add to, comment on and enrich these collections. Ultimately, through a specific portal, the project will propose ways of interrogating and cross-referencing collections that can highlight co-occurrences (in space and time) linking objects, places and practices, co-occurrences that should sketch out a ‘territography’ of minor heritage.

Website :

Partners : MAP (UMR CNRS/MCC 3495), MUCEM (Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée)

Contact: Jean-Yves Blaise

Founder : 2015-2017. Région PACA (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur)