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Hidden Heritage

Hidden heritage sits within four different categories, as proposed within the typology of hidden heritage (original work, explained fully within table 1, section 1.1.4). Heritage is unseen, unknown, undervalued and untold.


A particularly difficult strand of activity is hidden because it is not well publicised and not funded by a local authority (Stevenson, 2013); involving the community in research thus brings forward this hidden engagement with cultural activities such as those not highlighted in cultural participation statistics “because their engagement was largely personal, privatised, and divorced from any mainstream institutional context, it was hidden from view” (Miles and Sullivan, 2012, p.19). Adopting creative participatory approaches can reveal this hidden activity and multi-modal methods can highlight formally hidden assets, which can be particularly important in work with young people (Pope, 2007).


Some assets may remain hidden where there is no support for community activity,

as “community involvement is seen as a costly and time- consuming process with no gains in efficiency” (Freitas, 2016, p.11), so a top-down approach to identification would occur.

Further reasons why heritage can be hidden include that it is exists, but cannot be mapped to a “physical address” (Jeannotte, 2016, p.37). This type of intangible heritage is key to the narrative of a place, and using multi-modal methods allows for the discussion and creative exploration, as in this example of untold and undervalued heritage where “recovering a neglected collective history that has little or no presence in hegemonic histories or traditional museum archives almost forces an artist to take an ingenious approach” (Sharp, Pollock and Paddison, 2005, p.1008).