This project explores the legacies – outcomes, benefits, assets – created by co-produced heritage research. In 2014-15 we worked with a range of AHRC Connected Communities projects to understand legacies and propose future possibilities for community – university partnerships in this field.

We learned not just about the individual successes and failures of  research, but also about the dynamics of heritage relationships and the legacies that are being and could yet be formed. We want to describe these legacies in ways that help shape the future of community and co-produced heritage research.

Hertiage Legacies happened through collaborations amongst projects and heritage organisations, and through community and university co-evaluation of Connected Communities heritage legacies. Our core network was a set of Connected Communities heritage projects at the Universities of Aberdeen, Cardiff and Sheffield, together with co-design research based at the University of Leeds. We also engaged with a broader set of projects drawn mainly from the Connected Communities ‘Research for Community Heritage’ programme, and with partner organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Four key themes structured our work:
– Enskilment: how do communities and universities learn to work together in heritage research?
– Temporality: how can understanding the past affect the present and future for communities?
– Material assets: what is the range of material assets (e.g. new archives or archaeological finds) created by heritage research, and how can they best be managed?
– Ethics: what are the ethical legacies of this research, in circumstances where relations between past, present and future are being formed?