(Leif) Harald Fredheim


Research Project

Sustaining public agency in caring for heritage: critical perspectives on participation through co-design

Supervisors: John SchofieldGill Chitty and Mike Heyworth

This research project constitutes the sustainability strand of the WRoCAH (AHRC) funded 'Adopting Archaeology' project. I am investigating how public participation in caring for heritage can be encouraged and sustained in the context of austerity, without devaluing experts or exploiting volunteers. In addition to analysing established projects through critical discourse analysis, I am writing an autoethnography of my own participatory practice. Together with three heritage groups in Yorkshire, I am currently co-designing a digital tool that will allow users to identify and share what they consider their heritage to be. My autoethnography documents the co-design process, critically reflecting on my own efforts to facilitate and sustain public participation in caring for heritage. Ultimately, I am investigating whether by approaching participation differently, heritage professionals can support groups in becoming effective and resilient on their own terms. You can follow my research process at harald.fredheim.co.uk/blog and @haraldfred on twitter.
Key themes for my research include: Expertise, participation, heritage as social innovation, sustainability and shared-authority.



Harald Fredheim is a trained objects conservator, holding both MA in Principles of Conservation and MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums qualifications from University College London. In addition to his academic studies, which have spanned the conservation and management of objects, collections and sites, Harald has conducted placement work with the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust and Medway Council, the National Trust at Knole, the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and Studio Västsvensk Konservering. In the past, his research has focused on the appropriate use of heritage and the concept of acceptable damage, heritage values, digital tools for stakeholder significance assessments, conservation documentation and how values-based conservation policies can be applied to ‘living’ heritage contexts. With regard to communities and caring for heritage, Harald is more interested in ‘inclusion’ and ‘collaboration’ than ‘engagement’ or ‘consultation’. He is especially interested in documenting the benefits of inclusive public practice and in re-negotiating the boundaries of professional and volunteer responsibilities and expertise.



Fredheim, L. H., 2017. Endangerment-driven Heritage Volunteering: Democratisation or ‘Changeless Change’International Journal of Heritage Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2017.1399285.

Cutajar, J. D., Duckor, A., Sully, D. and Fredheim, L. H., 2016. A Significant Statement: New Outlooks on Treatment DocumentationJournal of the Institute of Conservation 39 (2), 81-97.

Fredheim, L. H., 2016. Sustaining Places in Action: Facilitating Community Involvement in Heritage Stewardship by Co-Creation. In T. Collins, G. Kindermann, C. Newman and N. Cronin (eds.) Landscape Values: Place and Praxis. Galway: Centre for Landscape Studies, NUI Galway, 115-121.

Fredheim, L., H. and Khalaf, M., 2016. The Significance of Values: Heritage Value Typologies Re-examinedInternational Journal of Heritage Studies 22 (6). DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1171247.

Conference Presentations

‘Reviewing Heritage “Expertise” – Renegotiating Responsibilities.’ World Archaeological Congress 8, Kyoto, Japan, 28th August – 2nd September 2016

‘Sustaining Stewardship Communities by Digital Co-Creation.’ World Archaeological Congress 8, Kyoto, Japan, 28th August – 2nd September 2016

‘Sustaining Places in Action: Facilitating Community Involvement in Heritage Stewardship by Co-Creation.’ Landscape Values: Place and Praxis, Galway, Republic of Ireland, 29th June – 2nd July 2016.

‘Sustaining Community-led Heritage Stewardship: Co-creating a Community-sourcing Platform for Heritage Management.’ Association of Critical Heritage Studies Third Biannual Conference, Montreal, Canada, 3rd – 8th June 2016.

‘Democratising the Digital: Sustaining Community-sourcing Platforms for Heritage Management and Conservation by Co-creation.’ Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 2016: Exploring Oceans of Data, Oslo, Norway, 29th March – 2nd April 2016.

(Leif) Harald Fredheim

Contact details

Harald Fredheim
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor