In this interconnected era mobile devices are essential daily companions of our life and ensure a fast and easy accessibility to any type of information across and beyond national borders, especially among the younger generations. Leveraging the potential of ICT tools is an opportunity for the cultural sector, where it is more and more necessary to reach more public and to promote widely events and artistic works to remain competitive in the market, in front of a reduced public funding. In this context, the archives certainly suffers a delay in the adaptation to these new features of the cultural market and are still less open to invest in digitization as a way to promote their heritage. Fully aware of this opportunity and need, the CREARCH Project has brought the archives closer to citizens through the development of a completely new multilingual mobile app, now available for installation in mobile phones and tablets.

Using the mobile app - through a treasure hunt - the public can access the stories, documents and tales of the archive through a hunt. Scope of the mobile app had to be to increase the access of the public to the content of archives and to involve them directly in the new approach towards the documentations pushed by the project. The mobile app, of course, had to be freely available in the main online stores (Google Play and App Store).

How to get three different archives into one display? How to create something other than a simple digital gallery?
  To manage the treasure hunt idea, and drive it towards a not ordinary way we put the document at the centre of searching activity. Instead of showing maps and geographical things with documents attached on it, a treasure hunt on the document, through visual elements of documents. In a drag and drop system the users are called to explore through a series of documents (one series for each partner) and, following textual and visual clues, the user can find and then tap on the right element on the document image. Each document corresponds to a level and the right tap on the image (based on the give clue) unlocks the next document/level. This way, the users discover historical or narrative contents about the documents and its era. The logic of the game and the ability to combine images of documents and text clues made it possible to use the archives in a different way. Documents become pieces of narratives. The narrative itself, however, is a pretext to underline the value of the archive.  

The app has three different game path, one for each consortium partners and focused on their archival material or interests.

The Crearch – Treasure Hunt application allows you to experience stories and solve puzzles by exploring documents from different European archives. Archives are not only immovable repositories of memory, but they can turn into the story of our roots, of our communities. The CREARCH app will allow you to solve puzzles and experience stories through archival documents ranging from the 17th to the 20th century.