Building Value through Data: The Politics of “Official” Heritage in England and Scotland

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Support for practical heritage conservation and development of statutory heritage policy relies on evidence the sector can marshal to articulate its value. The values debate in recent years in the UK has developed both rigor and depth, as the political contexts for the ways in which we manage heritage have come under scrutiny. It is assumed, however, that the evidence base provides a path to knowledge about the value of heritage, which can be objectively used within the high ideals of new public management research methodologies.This paper questions this assumption, as it suggests that there is a yawning gap in what is believed to be research, evidence and knowledge between statutory and non-statutory approaches to creating and dealing with information and data.Using case studies from Scotland, statutory heritage policy development is problematized,and the paradigm of the heritage management information system(MIS) or observatory is explored to better understand exactly what evidence basedpolicy-making in heritage is.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalHeritage and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2010


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