Research & Engagement in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies

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ICCHS is a nationally and internationally important centre for interdisciplinary research and consultancy into museum, heritage and gallery studies. Its staff members are renowned experts who have published widely on a uniquely diverse range of research interests and have undertaken important consultancy and engagement projects. Information about doing a research degree in ICCHS is available in the Research Programmes section.

ICCHS is being submitted alongside Media and Cultural Studies to Panel 36 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management) of the Research Excellence Framework, which is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. Information about recent research projects that form part of our submission is available on this microsite. You can also learn about some of the research resources we use and see profiles of current and former PhD students.

Research themes

The Centre's key research themes are:

Research Environment

We engage extensively with museum, gallery and heritage organisations and with other organisations who have an interest in the sector. Such organisations are frequently research partners and/or users of ICCHS research. This includes:

  • international bodies such as UNESCO, as well as overseas museums, galleries and heritage sites;
  • national bodies such as Engage and Arts Council England;
  • local museums and galleries (e.g. Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art);
  • heritage organisations such as Northumberland National Park Authority, English Heritage, the National Trust and the Countryside Agency.
  • other organisations whose work involves engagement with museums, galleries and heritage, e.g. charities such as Age UK and international organisations such as NATO.

Research & engagement: local, national and global impact

ICCHS’ research encompasses areas as diverse as museum and gallery epistemology, the protection of cultural property in wartime, heritage management, the impact of visiting contemporary art exhibitions on older people’s wellbeing and the curation of human remains. Types of research undertaken vary from predominantly theoretical and/or historical to policy-relevant and physical-scientific work. Since 2008, ICCHS has won research grants totalling over £3million with local, national and international impact, including the development of European cultural policy guidelines, the development of heritage infrastructure in Guyana, Kenya and China, engaging local communities in exhibition making and participatory events and finding ways to safeguard and interpret prehistoric stone monuments in rural Northumberland.

Key to our impact is the understanding that we are not separate from or on the sidelines of the museum, gallery and heritage sector; rather, we believe that we are central to it and have a responsibility to contribute meaningfully to its work through research and other forms of engagement. Examples of our research activities can be found on our recent and current projects pages.

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