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Playing with the Past: Exploring Values in Heritage Practice

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Playing with the Past

Exploring Values in Heritage Practice

Kate Clark

228 pages, 94 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-312-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-300-4 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (October 2019)

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“As a facilitator working in the heritage sector, this book felt as though it was written for me. Once published it will quickly become my manual and should quickly become a core text for anyone working with heritage, in whatever capacity, at whatever level. This book is a tour de force, taking the reader on a journey into the theory and practice of valuing heritage; it represents for the facilitator a box of delights or a pic ‘n’ mix of games for the heritage manager, designator, funder, fundraiser, educator, regulator, policy-maker to use in their everyday work.” • Jo Robertson, Built Environment Forum Scotland


Heritage is all around us, not just in monuments and museums, but in places that matter, in the countryside and in collections and stories. It touches all of us. How do we decide what to preserve? How do we make the case for heritage when there are so many other priorities? Playing with the Past is the first ever action-learning book about heritage. Over eighty creative activities and games encompass the basics of heritage practice, from management and decisionmaking to community engagement and leadership. Although designed to ‘train the trainers’, the activities in the book are relevant to anyone involved in caring for heritage.

Kate Clark is an industrial archaeologist who has had a career in museums and heritage management in the public, private and voluntary sectors, in Australia and the UK.  She has worked in Wales as CEO of Cadw (the Welsh Government heritage service), in Australia as Director of  Sydney Living Museums (the Historic Houses Trust of NSW), and in England with the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Ironbridge Gorge Museums, as well as in her own business.  She has written about a wide range of heritage topics including conservation planning, industrial archaeology, heritage management,  research and evaluation, landscapes, building conservation and sustainable development.

Subject: Museum Studies General Cultural Studies Archaeology


  • Preface
  • Origins and Inspirations
  • Introduction
  • Heritage Assets
  • Heritage Practice
  • Practitioners and Specialists
  • Heritage Values
  • Values-Based Heritage Practice
  • Conflicting Values
  • Technical Skills vs People Skills in Heritage
  • How to Use This Book
  • Planning and Facilitating Workshops
  • Location
  • Size of Group
  • Equipment
  • Case Studies
  • Formal Presentations
  • Role of the Facilitator
  • 1. Valuing Your Own Heritage
  • 1.1 Introductions – A Simple Quiz
  • 1.2 Put Yourself on the Map – Place and Identity
  • 1.3 My Heritage, Your Heritage
  • 1.4 Who Am I? Exploring Identity
  • 1.5 Why My Place Is Special
  • 1.6 Our Neighbourhood, Our Map
  • 1.7 The Meaning of Lost Places – Exploring the Power of Place
  • 2. Encounters with the Past
  • 2.1 An Encounter with the Past – Learning and Feeling
  • 2.2 History Lucky Dip – The Meaning of Objects
  • 2.3 Learning to Listen
  • 2.4 Professor of Archaeology
  • 2.5 The Dead Marker Pen – Introducing Heritage Values
  • 3. Values in Conservation Planning – The Big Picture
  • 3.1 Starter – Perceptions of Conservation and Heritage
  • 3.2 What Have You Got? Understand What Is There Now
  • 3.3 Why Does It Matter?
  • 3.4 What is Happening to It?
  • 3.5 What Do We Need to Do about It?
    • 3.5.1 Bringing It All Together – The Reveal!
  • 3.6 … And Who Needs to Be Involved?
  • 3.7 Your Vision for Heritage – The Missing Step
  • 4. Exploring Value and Significance in More Depth
  • 4.1 Starter: Values Change …
  • 4.2 The ‘Fried Egg’ of Value – The Difference between Designation and Management Values
  • 4.3 Time, Space and Stakeholders – Three Different Approaches to Heritage Values
  • 4.4 Understanding a Heritage Asset – Phasing
  • 4.5 Create Your Own Definitions of Value
  • 4.6 Assessing Levels of Significance – Scoring, Thresholds and Other Measures
    • 4.6.1 Scoring Significance
  • 4.6.2 Thresholds of Significance
    • 4.6.3 Rarity, Intactness and Other Measures of Significance
  • 4.7 When Experts Collide 1 – Specialist Approaches to Heritage Values
  • 4.8 Statements of Significance
    • 4.8.1 Statement of Significance – Designation
    • 4.8.2 Statement of Significance – Conservation Management Plan
  • 4.9 Through the Lens of Value and Significance
    • 4.9.1 Analyze a Conservation Statement or Management Plan
    • 4.9.2 Through the Lens of Value and Significance – Make a Funding Decision
    • 4.9.3 Review a Heritage Report
  • 4.10 Value and Significance – Who Decides?
  • 5. Heritage Values in Design, Conservation and Planning Decisions
  • 5.1 Decision-Making Starter – Are You for or Against?
  • 5.2 Heritage Impact Assessment – Five Questions
    • 5.2.1 What Is the Proposal and What Is the Justification for It?
    • 5.2.2 What Will Be the Impact on the Heritage, and Is That Beneficial or Harmful?
    • 5.2.3 Do You Have Sufficient Information to Make a Heritage Decision?
    • 5.2.4 Can You Avoid, Mitigate or Offset Any Harmful Impacts?
    • 5.2.5 Make the Decision and Set Conditions
  • 5.3 Put It All Together – Map Your Own Heritage Decision-Making Process
  • 5.4 Explore Impact in More Detail – Use a Heritage Impact Table
  • 5.5 Closer – What Makes a Good Heritage Decision?
  • 6. Values in Visitor Management – Engaging with Audiences
  • 6.1 Starter – Access or Participation?
  • 6.2 Access to Heritage – We All Experience Barriers
  • 6.3 Try It for Yourself – Experiencing Barriers
  • 6.4 Kids Takeover Day
  • 6.5 Looking for Myself – Find Your Own Story
  • 6.6 The 100-Word Story
  • 6.7 Vote for My Interpretation Project!
  • 6.8 My Best Day Out – Capture Your Visitor Experiences
  • 6.9 What Is Good Interpretation?
  • 6.10 Be Creative – Devise a Museum Game!
  • 7. Values in Day-to-Day Site Management
  • 7.1 The First Fifty Yards (or Metres)
  • 7.2 It Couldn’t Happen Here – Dealing with a Critical Incident on Site
  • 7.3 People Do the Darnedest Things! Identify Risks at a Heritage Site
  • 7.4 Do the Paperwork – Write a Health and Safety Risk Assessment
  • 7.5 Roofs, Gutters and Downpipes – Maintenance for Beginners
  • 7.6 What Date Should We Restore It To? Heritage Recipes and Beyond
  • 7.7 Project Management ‘Snakes and Ladders’
  • 7.8 When Experts Collide 2 – Guess the Heritage Specialist!
  • 7.9 Shopping Safari – What Can the Mall Teach Us about Site Presentation?
  • 7.10 Retail Therapy – Visual Merchandising Bingo
  • 7.11 Create a Product Range That Reflects Heritage Value
  • 7.12 Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Heritage Leadership for Beginners
  • 8. Values in Heritage Policy, Evaluation and Advocacy
  • 8.1 Starter: What If There Were no Heritage?
  • 8.2 The Public Value of Heritage – ‘Significance’, Sustainability and Service
  • 8.3 Only Connect – What Can Heritage Do for You?
  • 8.4 Killer Facts – Do the Numbers
  • 8.5 First Steps in Evaluation
  • 8.6 How’s Our Driving? Evaluating Outcomes Using ‘Commemorative Integrity’
  • 8.7 Tackling Myths Head-on – All the Bad Things You Ever Heard about Heritage
  • 8.8 Closer – Two Minutes in the Lift with the Mayor
  • 9. Values in Heritage Leadership
  • 9.1 Starter – Twenty Questions about Your Purpose
  • 9.2 So What Do We Actually Do? Keywords
  • 9.3 Peers, Partners and Politicians – Map Your Authorizing Environment
    • 9.3.1 Use their Language
  • 9.4 What Are Your Brand Values?
  • 9.5 What Are Your Ethical Values?
  • 9.6 Heritage Ethics Quiz
  • 9.7 Dealing with Dilemmas – Develop a Code of Conduct
  • 9.8 Tell the Story of Your Organization – Map a Theory of Change
  • 9.9 Who Are You (at Work)?
  • 9.10 Managing Change – Marking Progress
  • 9.11 Would You Fund Your Own Organization? Transparency, Trust and Accountability
  • 10. Strategic Thinking – Activities and Workshop Ideas
  • 10.1 When, Why, Who, How? Plan a Community or Stakeholder Engagement Process
  • 10.2 The National Trust’s ‘Spirit of Place’ Workshop
  • 10.3 Thinking Skills – Stage a Heritage Debate
  • 10.4 Scrutinize Your Business Plan
  • 10.5 Strategic Planning – Define the Issues and What to Do about Them
  • 10.6 Bureaucrat Bootcamp – A Mock Legal or Committee Hearing
  • 10.7 An Anthropologist from Pluto Studies Your Organization
  • 10.8 Combining Activities – Ideas for Workshops and Training Courses Glossary Further Reading

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