ESRC Impact Accelerator Award: From Museums to the Historic Environment

Image: A selection of Bronze Age copper alloy axes from the UK and Ireland, collected by General Pitt-Rivers between c.1851 and 1881, from the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Photograph by Carlotta Gardner, taken as part of the Excavating Pitt-Rivers project in 2013
We were delighted to receive news today that our application through the ESRC Impact Acceleration programme for funding for a pilot programme of knowledge exchange in partnership with the British Museum was successful. The programme builds directly on the documentation work, funded by an award from Arts Council England, that was undertaken on the English archaeological collections in the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum in 2013. The project is led by Dan Hicks (Pitt Rivers Museum) and Dan Pett (British Museum).

The award of £28,947 will fund a pilot programme titled 'From Museums to the Historic Environment': using the Pitt-Rivers archaeological collections to explore the ways in which historic archaeological museum collections hold significant, untapped information about the historic environment of England that is of wider public value.

The project will involve enhancing our knowledge of the sites from which the archaeological objects acquired by General Pitt-Rivers derived, and exploring the wider value of this information through knowledge exchange.

Our aim is to experiment with how a range of new users across the fragmented heritage sector could benefit from knowledge generated from collections-based research into historic collections: from local government planning authorities and Historic Environment Records to archaeological contractors, community heritage groups, local historians, regional museums and national heritage agencies.

This pilot project will run during between April 2014 and October 2015. A project officer will be appointed in the first half of 2014, and a cross-sector workshop will be held in Oxford in Spring 2015. More details will be posted on the Excavating Pitt-Rivers blog as the project develops.

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