Tomorrow I will start in my new job and I thought that’s a good time to reflect on what I learnt in my last role. So here we go, in no particular order: It’s key to understand the heritage values I started with a deeply felt commitment to inclusive significance assessments. What this job … Continue reading Good-bye Bedwellty, Or: What I’ve learnt in my last job
Category: Heritage Management
We are all indigenous (when it comes to our heritage)
I’ve been doing some more reading recently about indigenous communities and heritage management especially in the United States, Canada and Australia. My own research is about delivering public benefit through heritage management and interpretation using England and Germany as case studies. However, the writings about management of indigenous heritage are really useful in this. They … Continue reading We are all indigenous (when it comes to our heritage)
The challenge of objects
I don’t know about you, but I usually prefer heritage sites to museums for a visit. Partially this may be a result of poor interpretation encountered once too often at museums. Labels listing cataloguing information do very little for me and, I expect, many other visitors. Such ‘interpretation’ fails to make that elusive connection, and … Continue reading The challenge of objects
What makes a good interpretation consultant (and client, too)?
As my current project draws to the end of its development phase, I’ve been thinking a lot about the client-consultant relationship in heritage interpretation. I’ve been on both sides, and one gains good insights from either viewpoint. In fact, I have come to believe that in order to be a good client or a good … Continue reading What makes a good interpretation consultant (and client, too)?
Dirt and all? Or: That’s what good interpretation is for
As far as J. Geraint Jenkins is concerned, the Welsh efforts to present the nation’s industrial heritage (!) are mostly doomed. The reason is that sites, and coalmines in particular, are just not grimy enough. He also points out that much fabric has been lost, leaving the remaining structures without the all-important context. In presenting … Continue reading Dirt and all? Or: That’s what good interpretation is for
When I recently visited National Trust properties…
I love National Trust properties. I’d forgotten how much until I recently visited Polesden Lacey. So I promptly signed myself up to become a member (again) and I’ve proceeded to visit a National Trust property every weekend since. Of course, I’m also reading a lot of academic literature and case studies about heritage, its management … Continue reading When I recently visited National Trust properties…
Interpretation: Technology of Power?
I get the impression that Bella Dicks wasn’t impressed by the work of the interpreters (and researchers) involved in the Rhondda Heritage Park. In her book Heritage, Place and Community her criticism effectively boils down to one point: interpreters commodify local knowledge to present a novelty attraction to outside visitors while the needs of the … Continue reading Interpretation: Technology of Power?
Interpretation is… benefit-driven
I am currently researching how we deliver public benefit through heritage management and interpretation in England and Germany. Reading through the legislation that provides the framework for heritage is quite interesting. On the national level, people (the public) have been conspicuously absent from official heritage practices for many decades. The values identified by the legislation … Continue reading Interpretation is… benefit-driven
Sustaining Our Heritage – Paul Drury and English Heritage’s Conservation Principles
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing Paul Drury speak on ‘Sustaining Cultural Heritage Values in Changing Environments’ at University College London. Paul spent a great deal of time talking about the heritage values that people associate with sites. These, he argued, should form the basis of any management decision about a site … Continue reading Sustaining Our Heritage – Paul Drury and English Heritage’s Conservation Principles
Can volunteers sustain a successful museum?
Recently, Britain’s Prime Minister once again tried to enthuse people for his ‘Big Society’ idea. In the words of the Big Society Network: ‘The Big Society is a society in which individual citizens feel big: big in terms of being supported and enabled; having real and regular influence; being capable of creating change in their … Continue reading Can volunteers sustain a successful museum?