“Community Heritage” is front and centre of many new heritage strategies and visitor attractions in Scotland, and yet it is primarily managed by volunteers and lacks definition as a sector in its own right. Over the past two years, the Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MGCI) within the School of Art History has worked in partnership with a number of organisations and grass-roots initiatives to understand the community heritage landscape of Scotland better – its characteristics, current needs and potentialities.
An international conference will be held on Friday 8th November at Parliament Hall, providing a platform for the culmination of research workshops project funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and led by MGCI – School of Art History, the National Library of Scotland and Ergadia Heritage, seeking to understand the current needs and future aspirations of the Scottish community heritage sector.
The aim of the conference is threefold. Firstly, we will present the results of our twelve community heritage research workshops conducted at a grass-roots level around Scotland. Secondly, the conference will contextualise community heritage in Scotland in relation to international developments such as networks of community museums, ecomuseums, heritage networks in post-conflict situations, and mobile or temporary museums, drawing on the experiences of intended guest speakers from Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Tanzania and other countries. Finally, the conference seeks to continue in the spirit of community consultation conducted so far by offering a discursive space for participatory and constructive discussion and debate on community heritage in Scotland.
This MGCI – School of Art History coordinated project has been funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.