Hidden Stories

Stories are the essence of Affective Digital Histories - be they the real stories of real people, or creative pieces inspired by those real stories.

As well as collecting the recollections and memories of people through interviews, workshop and video booth recordings, the Centre for New Writing at the University of Leicester awarded eight creative writing commissions for the Affective Digital Histories project to reimagine the life of industrial buildings in Leicester and Glossop through decline and regeneration, and the relationships between people who used them.

The Hidden Stories app takes the five commissions inspired by Leicester's Cultural Quarter and weaves them together with animations and the latest smartphone technology to create a fascinating literary exploration of the area.

A new book, also called Hidden Stories, complements the app and features all eight of the commissions. The book - edited by Corinne Fowler, director of the Centre for New Writing - is an illustrated anthology that includes unabridged versions of the Leicester-inspired writing from the app, and three pieces which take the mills of Glossop as their subject; each author brings fresh perspectives to the locations featured in their work, enhanced by original artwork from Leicester artist Mateus Domingos.

The book was launched at a special event at Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre in Leicester on 31 March 2015, where guests enjoyed live readings from some of the book's contributing writers. The book is now available to purchase from Phoenix's Box Office or their online shop.

More Stories - Explore the Timeline

The Affective Digital Histories archive is filled with real stories of Leicester's Cultural Quarter and Glossop, from images and press cuttings, to audio and video clips. The materials have been collected, digitised and catalogued by researchers at the University of Leicester and reveal the changing face of these areas over the past 40 years. The archive can be accessed via the Explorer on this site, or through the University of Leicester's own Special Collections Online.

For a visual history, use our Timeline to explore the archive.

Success for our commissioned writers

Our commissioned writers have been garnering award success and media interest. Carol Leeming has won the Leicester Writers' Club Siobhan Logan Award for her choreopoem Love the Life You Live ... Live the Life You Love, and appeared on BBC Radio Leicester in November to talk about the award and her writing. Divya Ghelani's An Imperial Typewriter is being made into a short film, having been chosen as one of 10 finalists by B3 Media's TalentLab scheme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, and both Divya and Mark Goodwin, author of Mist's Rave, were invited to read their works at the Literary Leicester Fringe in November.

Read the commissions

The Hidden Stories book - edited by Corinne Fowler, director of the University of Leicester's Centre for New Writing - brings together all eight commissions into a single volume, enhanced by stunning original artwork. The book is available to purchase for just £4 from Phoenix Box Office or online. You can also download the individual commissions - minus the artworks - using the links below.