Collections of Ghent puts the spotlight on living heritage

April 4, 2023
min read

Collections of Ghent puts the spotlight on living heritage
“Collections of Ghent” is an innovation project, financed with resources from the European Regional Development Fund, that allows citizens to experience heritage in a more participative way and to allow them to contribute to living heritage.

The collection unites the heritage of five important Ghent museums: the Design Museum Gent, STAM Gent, Industriemuseum Gent, Huis van Alijn and Archief Gent. With this project, the museums delved into their collections and digitized as many as 100,000 heritage objects that are publicly available on an online platform.

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The collection did not remain just a digital project, but pulled the museums into a high-tech experience space: the CoGent box, which could be found throughout three Ghent neighborhoods. In this participatory neighborhood initiative, residents and passersby of Wondelgem, Watersportbaan-Ekkergem and Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham could visit and discover how objects, documents and stories came to life.

Chase, together with the museums and numerous other partners such as Stad Gent, District 09, UGent, Fisheye… joined in this project for Collection of the Gentenaar and jumped on the online storytelling with great "gusto."


  • Thinking about how to unlock heritage stories and bring them to citizens.
  • Develop a styling that was appropriate for all Ghent people and transcended the museums.
  • Create cross-fertilization between heritage, museums, Ghent people, creative and high-tech booths, in an accessible way.
  • Using Instagram and Facebook to build a community of Ghent citizens that brings together the stories behind the objects and Ghenters with their rich history.
  • Getting all the stories, objects, activities, events, partners and puzzle pieces streamlined together in an online story.

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We brought all the different factors together, from visitors and heritage to activities and celebration, and it all came together nicely in an online and offline platform. Every month we got input from all possible angles (heritage professionals, local residents, policy makers, …) and worked out a plan of action to bring our followers into the right story.

Thus, a few moments linger:

  • bringing together the caravan dwellers from Wondelgem who saw their history visualized in the story Wondelgem On Wheels.
  • 1-2-3 piano that always provided us with music and fun and connection through Ghent's neighborhoods.
  • Eric, the watchmaker from Ekkergem who shows how many hidden gems you can find behind facades.
  • The history of circus that came to life with Straffe Toeren.

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Want to take a look on social media yourself? Collection of the Gentenaar can be found here on Facebook and Instagram.


Social Media Manager: Jasmin Mazarine De Waele

Videographer: Loïc Meulenberg

Team lead: Annelies Droesbeke

Project funded by Urban Innovative Actions initiative

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