Cheshire East Council led the year-long project with Cheshire Archives and Crewe Library. It was against the backdrop of large-scale town centre regeneration, and with the introduction of HS2 on the horizon.
Minecraft proved an accessible way to introduce young people to local archives and urban change. The participants, aged 10-15 years, met weekly at the library to develop their digital and team working skills. They also explored the heritage of Crewe through interrogating town and building plans, architectural drawings and photographs created between 1870 and the 1970s. Recreating buildings and landmarks to scale within the digital world of Minecraft, they learnt about Crewe’s history in a way that was creative and engaging.
In turn, they shared their work with local people. Their ‘Crewecraft map’ of the town continues to be used by the library as an accessible way of engaging people of all ages with the local archives. Footage and images of the finished Crewecraft builds have also been made available through the library service’s interactive system for visitors to access alongside local studies collections.