In the College of Arts we understand heritage to be the living past. It is a tangible inheritance of archaeological sites, historic buildings, the artefacts in our museum collections, the documents in our archives, works of art and of literature; and it is our inherited beliefs, values, knowledge, languages, traditions and practices.
Heritage is not static. It is not dead and gone. It is our dynamic interactions with our past in the present. Heritage is the ways in which the past shapes us, our relationships with each other and with the world around us. It is embedded in our culture, society, economy and environment. Heritage is a positive legacy of resources and opportunities. It is also the problems and challenges which have come down to us from the past and which we must tackle in moving into the future.
In the College of Arts, we place people and human values at the centre of heritage research, education and knowledge exchange. Across a wide range of disciplines, we are progressing understanding of the role of heritage in society today. We are providing the next generation of heritage researchers, heritage professionals, heritage advocates and heritage communities[i] with the necessary knowledge, insights and skills. We are working with partners in the public, private and social sectors, and in society at large, more fully to realise the contribution which heritage can make to society.
In Scotland and internationally, we work closely with others to support the transmission of heritage to future generations and to mobilise heritage in addressing the challenges facing society today. We do this by collaborating to create the capacity, the information and concepts, the infrastructure, practices and tools, and the critical thinking and ethical frameworks needed to realise the value of heritage for society.
Throughout the coming month we will be featuring our range of expertise in the Heritage sector and some projects where we are working in partnership with non-academic organisations. We would like to invite you to contribute your ideas and suggestions for building on and extending our links with non-academic partners. We look forward to hearing from you.
[i] See the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society
Words by Dr Chris Dalglish, lecturer in Archaeology (Humanities) and Heritage Knowledge Exchange Theme Lead.
View Dr Dalglish’s video on YouTube.