Heritage: preserving and using past knowledge to inform people about the future.

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Heritage is a broad sector that encompasses preserving and using past knowledge to inform people about the future. That might involve working with historic locations to reinterpret their collections, as with Stirling Castle Palace or preserving collections through new digital curation technology and training courses. More broadly, we research the history of places and place names, but we also focus on individuals and support the Glasgow Women’s Library’s campaign to record memorials to women across Scotland. We look after archives like the William Collins archive for Harper Collins, and we use our research and records to contribute to museum exhibitions on topics like the Avant Garde and Georgian Glasgow.

Stirling Heads at Stirling Castle Palace.
Stirling Heads at Stirling Castle Palace.

Dr Sally Rush’s  re-interpretation of the Stirling Heads at Stirling Castle Palace helped to make it Scotland’s most popular visitor attraction in 2014. By making the Stirling Heads more accessible, she gave visitors the opportunity to engage better with the castle’s fascinating history. Professor Stephen Driscoll works with Govan Old Church in a similar way, helping them to re-display the Govan Stones and encourage more visitors to the site.

HATII in the College of Arts works on numerous projects around digital curation. They help to train curators in digital techniques as well as developing new technologies and working out the most cost effective ways for museums, galleries and libraries to approach digital curation. The team work with organisations around the world to find mutually beneficial solutions.

The 4C project: calculating the costs of digital curation.
The 4C project: calculating the costs of digital curation.

Through place-name research we engage with communities to access their particular knowledge about where they live. Dr Carole Hough and her team have developed community walks, given talks and put on exhibitions as a result of our research. Place-name projects have also contributed to two Heritage Lottery Partnership bids in Lomond and Bute.

The names of individuals are another aspect of Scotland’s heritage that we work to preserve. Memorials of women are often overlooked or missing, but we support the Glasgow Women’s Library and Girl Guiding Scotland in their work to raise the profile of the achievements of women in Scotland.

At the University itself, the Archive Services look after the William Collins archive for the publishers Harper Collins. This allows the important and unique archive to be preserved intact for Harper Collins’ benefit the and means that it can also accessed by researchers.

We also contribute to exhibitions around the UK, building on the research that is done in the College on Heritage themes. Dr Ramona Fotiade worked with the Barbican in London on their exhibition about Surrealism and the avant-garde, acting as an academic advisor and writing several catalogue essays. Professor Simon Newman and students also worked with Glasgow Life to develop their ‘Georgian Glasgow’ exhibition at the Kelvingrove Museum.

If you have an idea for a project, or you are a curator or community member who would benefit from academic support, please get in touch with Fraser at arts-ke@gla.ac.uk or contact us on Twitter @GlasgowUniArts.


Words by Jennifer Hilder, PhD Intern.

Watch Jennifer’s video on Youtube or click below.

Learn more about Heritage or discuss developing a partnership with the College of Arts with Dr Fraser Rowan the College of Arts Business Development manager by email or phone (0141 330 3885).

Post Author: Nicole Cassie

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