Dig Where We Stand: Developing and Sustaining Community Heritage


Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew Flinn
Co-investigators: Dr Kris Lockyear, UCL; Dr Gabriel Moshenska, UCL; Dr Caroline Bressey, UCL; Dr Beverley Butler, UCL

Drawing inspiration from the History Workshop slogan “Dig Where You Stand”, the project proceeded from the belief that a community’s sense of itself and place rests on an understanding of its past. Building on our existing work in community archaeology, community archives, oral history, public geography, film and digital heritage, we sought to impact and better understand the profound impact that history and heritage could have in sustaining communities, understanding change and diversity, and enhancing the quality of life of those who participate in heritage activities. This project was committed to an equitable partnership model of working on community heritage, sharing knowledge and expertise to develop and sustain broad participation (particularly young people) in a wide range of heritage activities. The project team included researchers from UCL with expertise in community archaeology, community archives, museum collections, public history, oral history, film studies, geography, the use of digital technologies in engaging the public in heritage, and was actively supported by a number of heritage and community partners. Working with the AHRC and HLF (the All Our Stories fund) our overall aims were to:
• make the community history resources and expertise located within UCL available to a wider audience
• deepen existing and establishing new partnerships with community groups
• explore the benefits of combining different branches of community heritage (notably community archives and community archaeology alongside digital humanities)
• and seek to encourage the participation of young people in community heritage activities.