Accessibility statement

Harald Fredheim
Lecturer in Museum Studies



Harald is a trained objects conservator and archaeologist whose research on how pasts are used and constructed in the present - spanning collections, buildings and landscapes. His work is centred around museums, heritage and archaeology, with a particular focus on public participation and engagement – both in-person and online. Since completing his PhD on participatory approaches to caring for heritage places, he has worked on research projects exploring contemporary collecting and disposal in museums, how to care for heritage buildings in landscapes undergoing unavoidable change and how to understand and evaluate public benefit from development-led archaeology.

Departmental roles



In my research, I work to trace connections between theory and practice - how we think about museums, heritage and archaeology and how that relates to how go about our work in these fields. I am particularly interested in public facing and participatory work and most of my research is collaborative and participatory. In general, I am more interested in people than things and the present than the past. In addition to my interests in participatory approaches, I research heritage values and try to understand why things, places and practices are important to people in different ways. I’m particularly interested in understanding how these perceptions change and are impacted by change. As a result, I like to think of heritage as a process of recycling and am interested in how heritage and museums connect with issues relating to sustainability and change. A current list of my publications is available on my Google Scholar page.



The BOCCAHD project explores ways of questioning, opening up, remixing and creatively engaging with heritage documentation. Working with heritage sector partners based in Yorkshire, the project is centred around a series of public-facing and internal workshops to share insights from project members’ and partners’ research and practice, culminating in the design and testing of a prototype creative cataloguing application.

PI: Harald Fredheim (University of York)
Co-Is: Arran Rees (University of Leeds) and Clare Fisher (University of Sheffield)
Funder: White Rose Collaboration Fund

The Museum of TAT in Leeds

The Museum of TAT (@museumtat) is a collaboration between Harald Fredheim and Lynda Burrell (Creative Director at Museumand). Together, we collect unwanted, unused and unneeded museum items and work with creatives to find ways to give new life to these items by transforming them. Our first exhibition was at Leeds Industrial Museum, where we displayed pieces that Yorkshire-based creatives Alice Bradshaw, Alex Harwood and Clare Fisher had made for us, using deaccessioned objects from Leeds Museums and Galleries.

PI: Harald Fredheim (University of York)
Co-I: Lynda Burrell (Museumand)
Funders: York Impact Accelerator Fund and University of York Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account

Available PhD research projects

I welcome applications from prospective PhD candidates with interests in the roles heritage, museums and archaeology play in society – and in particular from those who would like to pursue research relating to the following topics:

  • public (non-)participation and engagement
  • heritage values and significance
  • heritage and museums in relationship to sustainability and change
  • contemporary collecting and the transfer, disposal and re-use of museum collections
  • heritage policy and practice
  • public archaeology


Current research students:

  • Diana Unterhitzenberger (with Prof John Schofield)
  • Jin Fan (with Dr Daryl Martin)
  • Qian Wang (with Prof John Schofield)
  • Marie Woods (with Prof Emma Waterton and Dr Jim Leary)

Former research students:

  • Ashley Fisher (with Dr Sara Perry, Dr Gill Chitty and Dr Don Henson)



Year 3:

Presenting Archaeology and Heritage


Contemporary Issues in Museums

Museums, Audiences and Interpretation

External activities


Editorial duties

I have peer-reviewed articles for a number of academic journals including:

  • Information, Communication & Society
  • International Journal of Heritage Studies
  • Internet Archaeology
  • Journal of Heritage Tourism
  • Journal of the Institute of Conservation
  • Memory Studies
  • Norwegian Archaeological Review
  • Public Archaeology
  • The Sociological Review
  • Studies in Conservation

Invited talks and conferences

04/2022: Invited Discussant at a Nordic TAG 2023 session titled Heritage at an Arm’s Length, organised by Herdis Hølleland and Elisabeth Niklasson.

09/2021: Invited keynote speaker for a FARO conference on participatory approaches to assessing significance and coping with profusion in museums, Mu.ZEE in Ostend, Belgium.

04/2021: Invited speaker for the GRASCA graduate school in contract archaeology at Linnaeus University (with Sadie Watson and Kate Faccia).

02/2019: Beyond Ethics of Convenience. Researching Digital Cultural Heritage: Ethics of Using Digital Media in Arts and Humanities Research. Manchester, UK.

10/2017: Positive Tips and Challenges of Being at the ECR Stage [Panellist]. AHRC Heritage Priority Area Postgraduate and Early Career Heritage Researcher Workshop, London, UK.

Harald Fredheim

Contact details

Dr Harald Fredheim
Lecturer in Museum Studies
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor