National Recognition for East Riding Archives' Blockdown project

Mon 5th December 2022
Blockdown National Archives 4

East Riding Archives’ innovative Blockdown project has received further accolades, achieving national publicity through the National Archives.

Designed to collect young people’s experiences of the COVID-19 lockdown using the Minecraft videogame as a creative medium and storytelling platform, East Riding Blockdown has now been featured in the National Archives’ online publication, ‘A Year in Archives 2022’.

The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, for England and Wales. They chose to include information about East Riding Blockdown in their publication, which is available to anybody online.

Thought to be the first archives project of its kind in the country, the East Riding Blockdown (ERB) project launched in January, after receiving £4500 grant funding from The Audience Agency, as part of their Digitally Democratising Archives project.

The East Riding Blockdown created an Archiverse world, a virtual recreation of the Treasure House in Beverley in Minecraft. Participants built or digitally wrote about their experiences, and archivist Hannah Stamp then entered the Archiverse and ‘archived’ their creations in the real-world East Riding Archives.

Participants could explore the virtual Treasure House, meet the team, and see what other young people had created.

East Riding Blockdown has now engaged with over 120 young people aged between 5-15, whose average age was eight. It created an online Minecraft world called the Archiverse- the central learning and engagement space for young people to craft their creations. The project consisted of in-person Archiverse Minecraft events at Bridlington Library, East Riding Archives in the Treasure House, and Beverley Library (with the Teenage Reading Group). It also included a school workshop at Springhead Primary School in Anlaby.

Most recently, the project took part in Tech Week Humber, with two workshops at Wilberforce College and Hull College for over 50 pupils from Oldfleet Primary School and Newington Academy. The children and young

people took part in the Archiverse world, learned about archives, and explored the virtual Treasure House in Beverley. Their creations in the workshops have now been archived and preserved.

Ultimately, East Riding Blockdown has created an archive collection of young people’s experiences of lockdown which will be permanently preserved in the archives.

Archivist Hannah Stamp said : “I am delighted that our Blockdown project has now achieved national recognition, and engaged with so many young people, and I would like to thank my colleagues in East Riding Archives, libraries and in the council’s IT department for their invaluable contributions.” Visit the East Riding Blockdown website :

Just Beverley