Cultivating the Women on Farms Gathering Community: A Digital Approach


  • Natalie Lee-San Pang



commons, community development, museology, networks, collaborative design


This paper explores the potential of virtual place as a site where community identity can be cultivated through empowering, enabling, and constraining the collective memories of the community, and by the construction and reconstruction of individual knowledge. Insights from the discussion are applied to a particular case. A project titled ‘Cultivating memory: investigating the intersection of public history, museology and community informatics in the Women on Farms Gathering (WoFG) heritage collection’ concerns a collection of iconic objects, texts, oral history recordings, videos, photographs and memorabilia relating to the lives of women on farms. The project explores how best this collection can be placed and extended both physically and virtually, in terms both of content and use. The digital collection contributes to the establishment of a ‘knowledge commons’; a virtual space dedicated to the sharing of understanding, memories, and knowledge within the community. Using this concept of the commons, this paper demonstrates how the digital collection enables the reclaiming of understanding, the construction and representation of knowledge, and the cultivation of memories within a community.