Heritage, Conservation and Communities
Engagement, participation and capacity building
Public participation and local community involvement have taken centre stage in heritage practice in recent decades. In contrast with this established position in wider heritage work, public engagement with conservation practice is less well developed. The focus here is on conservation as the practical care of material cultural heritage, with all its associated significance for local people. How can we be more successful in building capacity for local ownership and leadership of heritage conservation projects, as well as improving participative involvement in decisions and in practice?
This book presents current research and practice in community-led conservation. It illustrates that outcomes of locally-led, active participation show demonstrable social, educational and personal benefits for participants. Bringing together UK and international case studies, the book combines analysis of theoretical and applied approaches, exploring the lived experiences of conservation projects in and with different communities. Responding to the need for deeper understanding of the outcomes of heritage conservation, it examines the engagement of local people and communities beyond the expert and specialist domain.
Highlighting the advances in this important aspect of contemporary heritage practice, this book is a key resource for practitioners in heritage studies, conservation and heritage management. It is also relevant for the practising professional, student or university researcher in an emerging field that overarches professional and academic practice.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: Engaging Conservation – practising heritage conservation in communities
Part 1 Approaches: community engagement, participation and capacity building
2 Engaging Conservation: communities, place and capacity building
3 People-centred approaches: engaging communities and developing capacities for managing heritage
Gamini Wijesuriya, Jane Thompson and Sarah Court
4 Everyone loves a good story: narrative, tradition and public participation in conservation
5 The language changes but practice stays the same: does the same have to be true for community conservation?
6 Community involvement in mapping and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in India
Nerupama Y. Modwel
7 An insight into Historic England’s approach to community-led conservation
8 Engaging with industrial heritage in the twenty-first century: a perspective from the work of the Industrial Heritage Support Officer
9 Developing evaluation strategies for engagement projects in museum conservation
Part 2 Case studies: engaging conservation in community practice
10 Living with history in York: increasing participation from where you are
Lianne Brigham, Richard Brigham, Peter Brown and Helen Graham
11 Community heritage and conservation in Castleford, West Yorkshire
12 Dunston Staiths: the reconnection of an industrial monument
13 Heritage conservation: the forgotten agenda in Victorian terraced communities
14 Linking people and heritage: lessons from community engagement initiatives in India
15 Community involvement matters in conserving World Heritage Sites: remote cases of Japan
16 Researching with the public, conserving with the community: the Martos project workshop, Spain
Laura-Melpomeni Tapini and Lucía Gómez-Robles
17 SPAB Maintenance Co-operatives: a move towards meaningful community participation?
Stella Jackson and Alaina Schmisseur
18 Maintaining treasures on Earth: supporting volunteers to care for places of worship
Henry Russell and Philip Leverton
19 The devil is in the detail: capacity building conservation skills at the Stone Masons’ Lodge
Gill Chitty is Director of the Conservation Studies programme and Centre for Conservation Studies in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. She was Head of Conservation at the Council for British Archaeology from 2005–12 and her professional experience in heritage conservation and public archaeology has been in local government, English Heritage (now Historic England) and as a consultant. Her doctoral research explored the influence of John Ruskin’s work in shaping British conservation practice and her research interests continue around the political economy of heritage.
"This volume brings together a wide range of theoretical issues and practical examples. It offers us real insights into the shift between established professional conservation value-centred methodologies to more people-centred approaches. No one said it was going to be easy."
Bridget Turnbull is director at Gillinggate Heritage and recent past education secretary of the The Institute of Historic Building Conservation Journal
"Heritage, Conservation and Communities provides a valuable and interesting insight into the world of heritage conservation practitioners, giving a rich overview of the methods, tools and approaches applied in this field. The ethical platform shared by all authors, i.e. prioritization of authentic and meaningful local community involvement, is of high relevance to any society striving for the inclusion of principles of democracy and social justice into all of its processes. A highly valuable message here is that heritage conservation benefits, above everything else, the community itself. As stated by Gill Chitty ‘[c]onservation in practice here is about developing skills in groups and people management, generating honesty and trust in working together to create equity in new partnerships’ (p.9). This book will be, first and foremost, interesting to heritage practitioners and students of heritage studies, who will benefit from multiple conservation approaches and lessons learned, with open discussions about challenges and failures on the way. The book will also be of value to tourism scholars interested in heritage conservation, as well as practitioners of nature conservation, who can benefit from expanding disciplinary horizons and unexpected synergistic interdisciplinary insights."
Lusine Margaryan Department of Tourism Studies and Geography, European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR), Mid Sweden University, O€stersund, Sweden