Published October 4, 2022 | Version v1
Report Open

First Report - The Congruence Engine: Digital Tools for New Collection-Based Industrial Histories

  • 1. Science Museum Group
  • 2. University of London


The capacity to make strong connections between historical objects and sources lies at the heart of this project as it does in the everyday museum and historical practices that it is designed to support. Curators creating displays combine artefacts, images, audio-visual materials and histories. Family and local historians connect records of ancestors and localities to establish their genealogy or to understand the past of where they live. Academic historians patiently and critically connect a diverse range of archive sources with existing literature to tell new stories about the past. All rely on connecting different fragments of the past as they weave the tapestries of narrative that constitute our local and national histories. The Congruence Engine will create the prototype of a digital toolbox for everyone fascinated by the past to connect an unprecedented range of items from the nation’s collection to tell the stories about our industrial past that they want to tell. This project explicitly works with collections that are generally represented by weak data. In place of the two-dimensional ranked list of search engines, we aim, with ‘The Congruence Engine’, to model a world in which users will be able to explore data neighbourhoods where a great diversity of information about heritage items that are deeply relevant to their investigations will be readily to hand – museum objects, archive documents, pictures, films, buildings, and the records of previous investigations and relevant activity.


Congruence Engine First Report V2.pdf

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Additional details


Towards a National Collection Programme Directorate AH/V000802/1
UK Research and Innovation