I began researching the sustainability of community groups involved in caring for their local heritage (in the UK) last autumn, as part of the Adopting Archaeology project, set up by the University of York and the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). I will be using this blog to share my research process and some of my data. I won’t be back-posting most of my work, but if you’re interested in a partial snapshot, I have storified some of the events I have attended at https://storify.com/haraldfred.
Rather than assessing how sustainable community groups involved in caring for their local heritage are, I have decided to focus on how sustainability in groups can be facilitated, within the current grant-dependent heritage economy. I am investigating the potential for using grants to build digital infrastructure through processes that build capacity, rather than to support discrete practical conservation interventions. As a result, much of my research involves initiating collaborative design (co-design) projects with groups already involved in caring for their local heritage, to design digital tools that can support their efforts. I will be using this blog to share reflections on our collaborative process and would like to welcome you to engage with it, either through comments or by getting in touch about setting up additional co-design projects to develop tools that can help you take care of your local heritage.
This summer I have been working with three groups in Yorkshire to develop a prototype of the first digital tool for our digital hub hosted at the CBA. We hope to create something that will let you identify what you consider your local heritage to be and why you think it is important, reflecting the first stage in caring for heritage together: identifying what we should be caring for.