Building on the past
: How can Archives be used in the re-presentation of historic buildings in the UK

  • Stewart Burzio

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


This study examines how heritage professionals working to bring an historic building into the public domain search for and use archives. The qualitative research will provide archivists with an insight into how archival research is understood through the eyes of built heritage users, what professionals’ needs are and how well archives are meeting these needs. Based chiefly on semi-structured interviews with members of The Royal Kitchens (Kew Palace) project team the results seeks to determine (1) the context for archival use in an historic building's re-presentation (2) Identify the surviving archival material related to The Royal Kitchens (3) Explore which archives have been used in the conservation and interpretation of The Royal Kitchens (4) Explore perceptions of archival services. The results identify two mutually supporting processes at play in a re-presentation project: Process A. Undertaken by the Building Conservation Profession, which maintains and stabilises the structure of the historic building often working from sources such as historic plans. Process B. Undertaken by the Heritage Interpretation Profession which communicates the building to the public also using the products of archive research. The results also shed light on conventions used by these professions suggesting the importance of using primary materials in any heritage project, the case study also reveals that archivists are considered a fundamental means to locating these sources
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

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