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Heritage Practice Communities in a Digitized World

A Scientific Research Network (SRN) funded by the FWO (Research Foundation – Flanders) and Global Wales.
Group photo of the SRN kick-off meeting, Hotel Oude Abdij, May 2024

The Scientific Research Network (SRN), funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders and supplemented by Global Wales, is dedicated to exploring the concept of heritage practice communities (HPCs) across multiple disciplines. HPCs, distinct from traditional citizen science, are grassroots groups that independently shape their research agendas, impacting heritage preservation and accessibility. The SRN collaborates with experts from various fields, including archaeology, museology, and digital humanities, to examine specific HPC case studies like hobby metal detectorists and family history groups. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, the SRN aims to conceptualize HPCs’ digital activities, examine heritage-related knowledge construction within HPCs, and develop methodologies for engaging ethically with grassroots heritage practices. The SRN involves researchers from the University of Antwerp, Aalto University, the University of Copenhagen, Ghent University, the University of Helsinki, KU Leuven, Swansea University, and Uppsala University. The Flanders project is led by Professor Suzie Thomas, University of Antwerp and Dr Pieterjan Deckers, KU Leuven.

Swansea will be hosting the network in 2026.

Swansea researchers:

Dr Hilary Orange (lead)
Prof Brian Garrod
Dr Nika Balomenou