University of Leicester Master’s students announced as winners in innovative ideas competition

Posted by ap507 at Jun 28, 2016 10:00 AM |
School of Museum Studies Master’s students win £2,000 in expert support with digital collective archive app

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 28 June 2016

A team of University of Leicester Master’s students has been announced as a winner of the JISC Summer of Innovation Student Ideas competition.

The team from the University’s School of Museum Studies entered a proposed mobile app which  creates an online crowdsourced archive and library to make documents more accessible to students, researchers and the wider public.

The app, called arHive: the collective archive, will help users take standardised high-quality scans of documents designed to support the digitisation process and to tie this wealth of digital content directly to the institution’s online presence. 

Using camera technology compatible with modern smart phones and tablets, the app will allow users to take editable and enlargeable research images for future study.

Scans would be automatically uploaded to a cloud based content sharing platform which crowdsources digitising the collections, allowing users to search and share pages and books. arHive is designed to provide feedback to the institution, giving vital metrics and real-time meta-data to the institution to inform their further projects.

Not only will these high-quality scanned pages be available to the users, they will be paginated, catalogued and taggable following industry standard archive and library systems. This creates a cross referenced taxonomic and folksonomic search system.

Successful entrants were given £2,000 and expert support to collaborate with industry exports and develop the ideas, along with a chance to win an additional £3,000 for further development.

The students will also get a real taste of life in the cutting-edge world of technology start-ups, helping to develop employability skills like planning and pitching. On 23 August the winning teams will pitch their designs, and five ideas will be selected to be developed further.

Kate Crossley, a Master’s student in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted to be announced as one of the 15 winners of the JISC competition and feel that the arHive app and now in the process of perfecting our pitch on 23 August in order to secure further funding to develop arHive further.

“The openness, the ease of access, the emphasis on shared community knowledge and shared interests, can create a space where users can contribute their research photographs to a living library. This provides not just a library of digitised documents but the work and thoughts of the people behind them; a collective archive.”

Sandra Dudley, Deputy Head of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, said: “We are absolutely thrilled by the success of our students in the JISC competition. It is a richly deserved recognition not only of their hard work and practical application, but of their entrepreneurial and creative ideas too. The students’ success is also an excellent reflection of the skills they have developed during their time in the School and of the quality of support we provide.

“The arHive team have produced a product that both has the potential to meet a real need and is built on the core values of community and sharing. We wish them the very best in the next stage.”     

Paul Bailey, senior co-design manager at JISC said: “The Summer of Student Innovation competition is now in its fourth year, but the fantastic ideas just keep on coming, proving that students are a great source of invaluable on-the-ground knowledge and innovation when it comes to edtech.

“As usual, we received many exciting and innovative ideas and choosing the winners was a difficult task. We chose these entrants because their ideas were innovative and exciting, whilst addressing new opportunities in educational technology. They also offer potential ideas we can develop into products, and have real potential to offer a genuine impact in learning, teaching or research.”


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Robin Clarke at

A video of the students explaining the project is available at:

More information about the JISC Summer of Innovation Student Ideas competition at:

Watch a video about the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester here:

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