This collaborative doctoral project focuses on the challenges and opportunities surrounding the assessment of social values in heritage management and conservation. The aim is to develop and trial a suite of qualitative methods for examining social values in a variety of ‘real-world’ heritage contexts. The resulting evidence-base will be used to identify a methodological ‘toolkit’ that can meet the needs of the heritage conservation profession and deepen our understanding of the social value of the historic environment.

In this project, ‘social value’ refers to the significance of the historic environment to contemporary communities, including people’s sense of identity, belonging, attachment and place.

The research is being conducted by Elizabeth Robson, a Postgraduate Researcher at University of Stirling. It is part of a collaborative doctoral project funded by the University of Stirling and Historic Environment Scotland. The other members of the project team/supervisory panel are Siân Jones and Peter Matthews from University of Stirling, and Judith Anderson and Karen Robertson from Historic Environment Scotland.

Activities will take place over 3 years (1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020).

This project supports the Valuing the Historic Environment programme of the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy at the University of Stirling, lead by Siân Jones.