Global Heritage: Science, Management and Development

We are leading the way in heritage research. The diverse topic connects science and technology with a range of areas including: archaeology, art history, literature, social sciences, art and design.

From tools that monitor deterioration of materials to methods for conservation, we put science and technology at the heart of heritage research in ways that broaden the scope of the projects we do.

Find out more about Global Heritage research at NTU, including impact case studies and information on groups and centres, by searching our research.

Some of the challenges we are focusing on

  • How can we understand human interaction with the world?

    Our Smart Preservation of Architectural and Urban Heritage research group (SPAUH) use technology to document human engagement with urban heritage, material culture and the built environment.

    The current research has introduced new virtual heritage technologies and policy making into several developing countries.

  • How do we preserve cultural heritage?

    Textile heritage: Art, Design and Conservation is divided into two distinct areas:

    • Art and Design conservation (contemporary and historic objects) - we combine art and science to generate new methods to understand and preserve cultural heritage.
    • Post-industrial heritage archives (digitisation/ 3-D visualisation of regional manufacturers) - NTU uses participative design, 3D modelling and animation to investigate production skills and understand textile production processes.

  • Can science boost humanities and creative arts research?

    Science for Heritage, Art and the Humanities demonstrates how we can use science as an effective tool for heritage research. the research team works together to:

    • develop non-invasive advanced imaging and spectroscopic techniques
    • apply science to boost our understanding in history, archaeology, conservation treatment and management
    • use science to inspire the creative arts.

  • What role do museums play in learning about heritage?

    Over the last twenty years, museums have shifted from collections-focused to audience-centred organisations. We're helping to transform museums and the communication of heritage.

    The History and Heritage Management Group (HHM), based at the School of Arts & Humanities, apply memory theories and applied learning theory to visitor behaviour museums environment. Their findings influence the development of displays, activities and events that encourage learning.

  • How does technology help us study heritage?

    We are developing new technologies that advance heritage research. For example, the Smart Preservation of Architectural and Urban Heritage research group (SPAUH) have developed digital scanning and light detection systems.

    Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History and Conservation (ISAAC) has also created unique imaging and sensing instruments for in situ non-invasive examination.

    Facilities for ISAAC mobile lab:

    • Spectral imaging systems
    • 3D topographic imaging techniques
    • Optical Coherence Tomography systems
    • Automated microfade spectrometry.

  • What does sustainable heritage management look like?

    Researchers in the Sustainable Heritage and Society Research Group help inform the sustainable practice of heritage management and conservation to boost the quality of the built environment.

    The group focuses on advancing the New Urban Agenda by safeguarding our cultural heritage and achieving sustainable economic development.

    Our research focuses on:

    • Cultural Tourism and the economics of conservation (heritage management focus)
    • Smart cities, decision support systems and the heritage sector (governance focus)
    • Participatory planning in conservation areas (design focus)
    • Cultural Identity and multicultural cities dialogue (governance focus)

Key collaborators include

The British Museums (UK), Louvre Museum, C2RMF (France), The National Gallery (London), Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust, Science Museum, National History Museum, National Justice Museum, University of California at Berkeley, Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham (UK), Nottingham Castle Museum, Birmingham Museum and Gallery, East Midlands Museums Services, University of Leeds, Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, Historic Royal Palaces, National Museum of Ireland, LRMH (France), Shaan Xi History Museum, Palace Museum (Beijing), Dunhuang Academy (China), Getty Conservation Institution, Brooklyn Museum (USA), International Institute of Conservation (IIC), ICCROM, ICOMOS etc.

Governmental departments, including The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Ireland); Ministry of Antiquities (Egypt); Nottingham City Council, Ministry of Justice of the Province of British Columbia Canada, Regione Campania (Italy), UN-Habitat, NASA, World Bank.

Research Councils UK (RCUK), Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust, Arts Council England, European Commission, Nottingham Castle Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, World Monument Fund, World Bank.

Global Heritage: Science, Management and Development

Published on 24 October 2017

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