Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23718
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Science, value and material decay in the conservation of historic environments
Authors: Douglas-Jones, Rachel
Hughes, John
Jones, Sian
Yarrow, Thomas
Contact Email: sian.jones@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Value
Qualitative research
Science and technology
Authenticity
Decay
Issue Date: 19-Apr-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Douglas-Jones R, Hughes J, Jones S & Yarrow T Science, value and material decay in the conservation of historic environments, Journal of Cultural Heritage.
Abstract: The historic environment undergoes cycles of material deterioration, and these processes have a powerful impact on the meanings and values associated with it. In particular, decay informs the experience of authenticity, as a tangible mark of age and ‘the real’. This article examines the intersection between material transformation, scientific intervention and cultural value. Drawing on qualitative social research at three Scottish historic buildings, we show that there are a complex range of cultural values and qualities associated with material transformation. Furthermore, we highlight how the use of science-based conservation to characterise, and intervene in, processes of material transformation can affect these values and qualities. We argue that it is necessary and important to consider the cultural ramifications of such interventions alongside their material effects. This requires a case-by-case approach, because the cultural values and qualities associated with material transformation are context-specific and vary with different kinds of monuments and materials. We conclude with a series of recommendations aimed at integrating humanities and science-based approaches to transformation in the historic environment.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23718
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2016.03.007
Rights: Under a Creative Commons license
Affiliation: IT University of Copenhagen
University of the West of Scotland
History
Durham University

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