The conference is part of a project entitled ‘Living with the past’ (a similar name to our ‘Living in the Past’, but not the same!), and is “about charting the relatively recent development of house history research and thinking about what is means for the ways people think about the past and their homes.” It is run by members of the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, in association with the Geffrye Museum. An exhibition ‘Who once lived in my house?‘ will run at the museum until 9 February 2014.
Unfortunately I think the opportunity to book a seat at the (free) conference has now passed (but perhaps it’d be worth checking??). However, I should be able to put the presentation online afterwards. The abstract for the paper is as follows:
Living in the Past: Preservation, interpretation, and engagement, and the 19th – early 20th century home
In recent years, boundaries between curated domestic space (typically open to the public, maintained by museum professionals, and supported by government or charitable funding), and privately occupied dwellings, have on occasion been eroded. Each year, usually as part of annual heritage events run by non-profit organisations, a small number of residents permit members of the public to view features of historic interest within their homes. Furthermore, extensive opportunities to share information, images, and data on-line allow residents to ‘virtually’ display historical features within otherwise closed domestic spaces.
Adopting approaches from ‘Rescue’, Research, and Public Archaeology, the Living in the Past Community Archaeology Project (LIPCAP) pilots new ways to widen access to historic features, material culture, and related data associated with private domestic buildings. LIPCAP encourages and supports preservation by record, requesting occupants of pre-WWII housing within local communities to record surface garden artefacts and standing building features not ostensibly at risk, as well as to report findings made during home renovations, prior to damage or destruction. This has led to a number of challenges – some of which are familiar to the heritage sector, whilst others are generated afresh, not least due to the voluntary nature of the project.