Heritage is in every part of our lives – in our buildings, our institutions, our histories and in our communities. This wish to remember and explore community heritage is something that drives us and research is the way that we achieve that.
We undertake projects where we explore specific historical themes (e.g. Centenary of WWI, Women’s Right to Vote, Childhood, Courtship, BME history, etc.) and find out more about these topics from a direct approach.
We seek first hand experiences through oral history collections and reminiscence, gather materials, train volunteers and deliver memories and resources, using archives, community call outs, and letters in the attic. This desire to understand and explore local heritage is often key to communities, bringing rich insights to our appreciation of these reminiscences.
We do this for our own projects, but clients contract us to do this on their behalf too with positive results. We can offer this as an in-house service or, if there is a community engagement element to a project, we also engage and develop volunteers with new skills and knowledge in archival research and community heritage.
Recent projects where we have been engaged by organisations to do this include:
- Dr Blighty project – Nutkhut
- Trench Brothers – HMDT Music
- Conscientious Objectors – The Big Ideas Company
- Archives Alive – QueenSpark Books
- The Barge (Kids Kreative Workshops) – The Goodall Foundation
This form of research really helps cultural organisations to explore engagement with communities as active participants in the research process. We very much enjoy this process and seeing hidden histories revealed as well as volunteers and participants gaining new knowledge and career progression through these skills.
If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help support your work and activities, drop us a line through our Contact section.
The Sussex Record Society was very pleased to be able to make a grant for this partnership project, which has provided important insights into the contribution made by Jewish people during the First World War. We were really happy to support the training and engagement programme, which formed a key part of the events, and the creation of the new community history website, which will provide a sustainable legacy for the project.Dr Danae Tankard – Senior Lecturer in History, Programme Coordinator, MA Cultural History / General Editor, Sussex Record Society, University of Chichester