School for the Creative and Cultural Industries


The Memory Workshop and Memory Bike

The Memory Workshop and Memory Bike support the recording, archiving and digitisation of local voices and oral histories in and around the Olympic Park in East London.

The Memory Workshop

The Memory Workshop is a collecting and digitisation project within the UCL Urban Room at UCL East. Using the idea of lab-based learning, the workshop records oral histories within London and facilitates digitization of community and other collections on campus in our mini-studio. Student and partner users of the workshop can digitise vinyl records, VHS and cassette tapes as well as edit their own digital materials. This work is part of Urban Room’s commitment to supporting impactful student research and developing collaborations with artists, residents and organisations around the Olympic Park where UCL East is located.

In 2023-2024 the Urban Room theme memory, focusing on making histories more accessible to the public as well as contributing to a further understanding the role that of memorialisation plays in society today. Select materials that are digitised and recorded in the Memory Workshop will become part of our Urban Room digital collection managed by UCL Special Collections.

The Memory Bike

The Memory Bike is a bicycle-mounted recording and listening station and digital acoustic archive which supports the documentation and recording of local voices and everyday soundscapes. Housed in the UCL Urban Room, the bike is a digitzation facility and collaborative archive and an extension of the Memory Workshop.

The Memory Bike has been designed by students and researchers working in The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment and The School for the Creative and Cultural Industries, it is supported by UCL Special Collections.

Find out more in the Memory Workshop and Bike handbook.

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The Memory Bike is equipped with a comprehensive set of oral history recording tools, conveniently packed into our ready-to-go backpacks. This includes Zoom recorders, SD cards, microphones, headphones, as well as a mobile table and stools to facilitate interviews and oral histories.

Call for proposals: UCL Memory Bike

Applications are now closed. Sign up to our quarterly newsletter to be notified when the next round of applications open.

We are now inviting applications from UCL staff and students, and external partners and organisations, who wish to use the Memory Bike for community-based oral history, audio recording and digital archiving projects. We particulalry welcome projects which connect with the themes of memory, arts, heritage, or urbanism.

Applications can come from anywhere, but the bike can only be used within the four Olympic boroughs in East London (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest). Successful applicants will also have access to a budget of up to £400 to support their projects,

The closing date to apply is Thursday 22 March 2024.

Current projects

UCL East staff and East London community members smile next to the UCL Memory Bike

Voices of East Bank

The Memory Bike has been at the heart of a project to gather an online archive of stories about east London’s communities, heritage and languages called Voices of East Bank.

Find out more

Past projects

Flotilla x Oral History

Equipment from the Memory Bike was used to capture oral histories from women participants in Melanie Manchot's artwork Flotilla. Funded by UCL, Royal Docks, and Invisible Dust as part of the Sea Change Festival.

Find out more

Breaking Waves 

Equipment from the Memory Bike was used to capture oral histories from people who lived in or remember life at Creekmouth before the flood. In collaboration with Create London and Creekmouth Preservation Society.

Find out more