How Do I Get Started?
What can I do on the City Stories website?
Through the City Stories website you can discover all of the interesting objects and stories submitted by members of the Oxford community and its twin cities. You can also contribute your own entries- there are instructions below on how to do this under 'How do I add my story to the website?'.
Contributions to the website can be found either tagged in Collections or organised into different themes under Exhibits. These themes include those relevant to the new Museum of Oxford (currently under construction), such as Sporting Oxford, and others which are more topical, such as The Covid-19 Pandemic and Oxford. Community submissions can also be discovered by location on the City Stories Map.
Why is it important?
Anyone can upload an object or story to the City Stories website. It doesn't matter who you are, whether you are an expert on one of our topics or simply interested in sharing your story as an Oxford resident. By contributing to the online collection, you are directly supporting the Museum of Oxford and preserving local, community-led history.
How can I get started writing my own story?
If you have chosen an object or story to submit to our website, there are few questions which can help you get started. These questions can be broken down into those which can help you analyse an object you already have or those that can help you write out a story.
Questions about your object-
If you have an object you would like to share on City Stories, the 'five Ws' can help you get started. Who, what, when, where and why? Below is an example of an analysis for one of the museum's objects- the knuckle bone pavement.
These questions provide a great starting point. However, depending on how much you know about your object, you could also ask more detailed questions such as:
- Do you know who made the object? What is your relationship with this person, if you have one?
- How old is your object?
- How did you come to acquire it?
Questions about your story-
If you have a specific story to share, the 'five Ws' can also help you provide important background information. The following is an example of a story analysis from one of the museum team:
How much you can ask about your story may vary depending on what format you are using. Your story could focus on an object, like those shown in the images above, or it could be a video, a service or even an audio recording. However no matter what format you are using, who, what, when, where, and why should help you get started.
How do I add my story to the website?
1. To add your story or object to our website, you need to start by clicking on "Add Your Story" which is found on the top menu. This will take you to the contribution form where you can fill out the details of your story or object.
2. First, at the top of the page, you can select which item you would like to contribute. At the moment, this is the same for all contributions, this is a 'story and/or item.' Below this field is the space to give your story an object a name. This could be a title to introduce your story or the type of object you are submitting.
3. Next, in the 'account' field, you can add your key information. This text should include the format of your resource (an image, a video, a service, a story etc.) and what it demonstrates. If you have any relevant files, such as an image or a video, you can upload them below.
4. If your story or object has a strong link to a place in Oxford, you can add your address in the search bar. The location will automatically appear on the map below. Alternatively you can click on the map to drop a pin on your desired location.
5. The "Personal Information" section of the form includes all the important details we need to be able to complete your item and upload it to City Stories.
Please enter your name here, this can be your full name, your first name, or you can choose to remain anonymous. If you include your email address, this makes it easier for us to double-check the details of your story. If you do not have an email, you can optionally enter a telephone number.
6. Next, in the comment section, you can add any contextual information for your object or story. If you need help with this, the above section titled "How can I get started writing my own story?" provides a great starting point.
If you have any additional files, you can indicate so on this page.
7. For your contribution to be published, you will need to complete the CAPTCHA and tick the two boxes to demonstrate that you give permission for this and that you have read the terms and conditions.
Finally, to submit the form, you will need to click "contribute". Please remember, the museum team reads all contributions and must authorise them to be published. This takes time and you may be contacted for any missing details.