Knowledge centre

Research and publications


Everyone can become involved in historical research and in protecting the heritage of their local area. Community historians can be involved through membership of their local historical society and a good place to start your research is your local council library.

Use the files and documents on these pages to find out how you can go about understanding a heritage place or object. They include practical tips and tools for using history in heritage work.

Every heritage item has a past, a present and a future. It is important to research and understand an item's past in order to assess its significance to us today and in turn pass on those significant aspects to future generations.

It is also important that this process be transparent and accountable, so that planning decisions can be based upon verifiable research and informed analysis.

To develop an understanding of a heritage place or object we need to undertake historical research, investigate its fabric, and make comparisons. Once these processes have been undertaken, a statement of significance can be developed, and after that conservation policies to manage the item can be developed.

It is necessary to undertake your investigation in the right order or sequence. When caring for a heritage place, its significance must first be understood before methods for managing the item and its significance are decided upon.

In other words: don't put the cart before the horse!


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Page last updated: 18 November 2015