‘Heritage is not simply about the past; it is vitally about the present and the future. A heritage that is disjoined from ongoing life has limited value. Heritage involves continual creation and transformation. We can make heritage by adding new ideas to old ideas. Heritage is never something to merely be conserved or protected, but rather to be modified and enhanced.’ (Robert Palmer, Council of Europe 2009).
For over a decade Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) has accompanied Conservation Studies within our Department of Archaeology. Together these related programmes provide a framework for research and teaching on the historic environment, in the UK and elsewhere. The Centre for Applied Heritage Studies (CAHSt) draws together the various strands of CHM into a coherent and ambitious focus group within the Department of Archaeology, and with connections extending across the heritage sector and to other universities. Together we believe that, beyond its economic significance, heritage matters and that it plays a vital role in the sustainable management of change for the benefit of society. University teaching staff, research students, visiting staff and fellows populate the Centre, all united in recognising the need to combine theoretical principles with working practice, and to develop cross-disciplinary and international research collaboration. Geographical scope incorporates the UK, Europe, the US, Australasia and East Africa, while subject matter includes buildings and sites, landscape and environment, and intangible cultural heritage. The Centre’s Director, John Schofield, previously worked for English Heritage (the UK’s leading heritage agency and government advisor on heritage matters in England) for 21 years. John was appointed to the University of York in 2010.