How should decisions about heritage be made?


Principal Investigator: Helen Graham (University of Leeds)
Co-investigators: Dr Alex Hale, Rebecca Madgin, Richard Courtney, Timothy Boon
Collaborators: Martin Bashforth (York’s Alternative History and Radical Historian); Mike Benson (Director, Bede’s World); Tim Boon (Head of Research and Public History, Science Museum); Karen Brookfield (Deputy Director, Strategy, Heritage Lottery Fund); Peter Brown (Director, York Civic Trust); Danny Callaghan (Independent Consultant and Co-ordinator for Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative: ‘Building Stories’ and ‘The Potteries Tile Trail’); Alex Hale (Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland); Paul Manners (Director, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement); Jennifer Timothy (Senior Building Conservation Officer); Leicester City Council; Rachael Turner; MadLab; ‘The Ghosts of St Pauls’ project (HLF All Our Stories).
Duration: From 2013 to 2014

In early 2013 the project spent four months working together to explore the issues raised by decision making about heritage and then designed a research project. In our Phase 2 research (beginning in July 2013) the project will to root our bigger concerns with democracy and heritage in specific places and contexts by mapping who makes decisions, when and where. Our methodology, inspired by systemic action research approaches, uses a parallel set of three inquiry strands each oriented to heritage ‘as a system’ in different ways: ‘from within’ (using live projects to trace decision making), ‘experimenting’ (through a co-collecting project at the Science Museum) and ‘interrogating’ (publicly investigating the effects of ‘heritage’ in York).