News and updates from ENCOUNTER

National Trust and Oxford University Create Unique ‘Knowledge Sharing’ Partnership


The National Trust’s gardens at Stowe, Buckinghamshire. Photo © Oliver Cox

The National Trust and Oxford University have embarked upon a new collaboration to enhance visitor experience at the charity’s historic properties in London and the South East of England.

Over two years a digital knowledge bank of information about National Trust properties will be crowdsourced from researchers at the university, for use by staff and visitors both onsite and online. The resource, Trusted Source, will draw out connections between collections, places, properties and people, thereby encouraging visitors to gain a better understanding of the Trust’s rich and varied portfolio, in addition to wider British cultural heritage.

Dr Oliver Cox, the Oxford historian and ENCOUNTER member managing the partnership, states:

‘The National Trust has incredible collections at its properties but it does not always have access to academic sources and references.

‘This partnership will let the National Trust crowdsource the knowledge of Oxford’s world-leading social historians and, together, we will develop resources to bring these National Trust properties to life.

‘We will be focusing on showing people more of the research that is happening into country houses, and presenting this research through stories which engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

‘We also hope the resources we develop will be used outside of the properties, by schools and interested members of the public.’

In addition to creating an accurate and engaging resource for National Trust visitors, the project’s legacy is also highly significant. By formalising a clear methodology for sharing knowledge between these two leading organisations, a blueprint for collaboration will be established that can be adopted by other academic institutions and heritage organisations internationally, thereby encouraging further stories about places to be told and enriched through research.

For more information on Trusted Source, please visit . If you are interested in collaborating, or would like more information, please email Alice Purkiss, Knowledge Transfer Partnership .