CURIOS is an open linked data system with drupal content management system
Computer and social scientists at the University of Aberdeen dot.rural Digital Economy Hub teamed up with Hebridean Connections to help produce a new semantically linked data base with website‐ generation facilities that could be operated and updated by volunteers in the communities themselves. Known as CURIOS (Cultural Repositories Information Systems) it is based on open source software.
The semantically linked data system means that someone in search of their ancestor on the Outer Hebrides could find out which school they went to, which fishing boat they worked on, which croft they lived in and in which cemetery they were buried. They could find recipe books for the kind of food they ate and look at the kind of work tools they used. They could study photos of their family and school friends in the village and read any poems or letters that they might have written.
The CURIOS project is not only of relevance to the Outer Hebrides, however. It is a piece of technology that can be used by other cultural heritage projects elsewhere. It was applied in another Scottish community, Portsoy, where the annual traditional boat festival attracting many thousands of visitors, has stimulated an interest in local history. In Portsoy, new dimensions have been explored. The CURIOS data base can link to social media sites where much of the discussion and communication of local history information (for example around the discussion of old photographs or reminiscences ) takes place.
New areas such as India are also being explored and the continuation of CURIOS as a low cost, producer‐controlled , user–generated technology could not only be a way of connecting the old with the new world in the global North, but also with the developing world in the global South.