Written by Davies, J G.
In October 2014, within the first weeks of starting a PhD at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage University of Birmingham, one of the senior lecturers proposed that a journal be established by the new PhD researchers. The aim was that by establishing a journal it would create a sense of community amongst the department’s full time and part time postgraduate students. Furthermore as one of four Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded PhD researchers working through a collaborative doctoral award programme, it meant that there would be four full time students based at the Institute who would be able to lead such an initiative.
Setting up the journal
With the idea being positively received by students, the first step was to hold a meeting to discuss the format, scope and management of the journal along with a brand name and logo. It was decided that the four AHRC funded postgraduate would take the lead and form the editorial board. Full time and part time students would contribute by writing articles and book reviews along with being anonymous peer reviewers who would assist in the editorial process.
In terms of scope given that the Institute is one of cultural heritage, it was only right that the journal compliment this. Given the diversity in research undertaken in the department from built heritage to historic landscapes, museums and heritage sites, world heritage sites, intangible heritage and digital heritage, the scope of the journal was the follow the holistic understanding of cultural heritage. To provide a focus, each issue of the journal was to be on a specific cultural heritage theme chosen by the editorial board.
The name furnace was chosen to reflect the heritage of the Institute. The Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage was founded in 1980 as a result of a partnership between the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and the University of Birmingham. Given its origins in Ironbridge, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, we sought to echo this in the brand name. The name furnace derived from the Darby furnace which is one of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site inscribed monuments. This is also reflected in the logo which mirrors the pyramid shaped cover over the Darby furnace.
Given the international composition of the department’s postgraduate community and the global digital age in which we live, we wanted to reflect this in the nature of the journal. Firstly we aimed for each issue to include papers by authors and on research from all over the world. To achieve this we would need to attract submissions from beyond the department and therefore we would advertise the call for papers globally through social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and existing digital postgraduate and cultural heritage networks. Whilst the journal would be the Institute’s postgraduate journal it would not be solely for current students but would aim to be a space for cultural heritage postgraduates globally edited by Ironbridge students.
Secondly in today's digital age in order to achieve the international aims, a printed journal would not suffice. Given the high costs involved, a printed journal was always out of the question, as there was no budget for this initiative, only our own time and energy. Furthermore printed journals are a thing of the past; open access digital journals are not only the future but the present. It was decided that our journal would be a free open access online journal. To achieve this, a simple Wordpress site was set up for free by the author (Figure 1). The site would be used to host the call for papers, submission guidelines, editor biographies and the journal issues themselves. The format of the online journal would be downloadable pdf articles and an interactive and downloadable full issue through the website ISSUU - https://issuu.com/furnacejournal (Figures 2 and 3). The advantage of Wordpress is that is free to set up and run and that it's easy to use interface allows for a quick setup and management. This ease of use is essential for the legacy of the journal as it will enable those lacking in digital confidence to take over control.
The webpage was designed with interactivity in mind as it includes a countdown widget to the deadline for the next call for papers and a feed from the furnace journal Twitter feed (@furnacejournal), as illustrated in Figure 4. The ISSUU version includes hyperlinks and bookmarks also.
An ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) was obtained to professionalise the journal. An ISSN is an 8-digit code used to identify newspapers, journals, magazines and periodicals of all kinds–print and electronic. A link to the journal was included in the University’s library catalogue also.
The first theme for the journal was decided as ‘Cultural Heritage in an International Age’. A call for papers was issued in November 2014, emailed out to students in the Institute and those within the University and beyond. The Twitter account, set up in December 2014 (now with 361 followers), was used to promote the call for papers, an approach which was very successful. Submissions were then read by two different peer reviewers from the Institute (full time and distance students) to assess if it met the call for papers criteria, before the lead editors responded with corrections to be made. Once the corrections were made they sent back to the lead editors who checked the articles, before sending them to myself (the copy editor), to standardise the formatting and get them ready for online publishing (individual pdfs and full interactive version), as illustrated by Figures 4 and 5. In June 2015 our first issue of furnace Journal was published online. The 46 page issue included an introduction by the head of the Institute, editorial by the lead editors, a keynote article by a member of staff from the institute and four articles. The journal was a success, with crowd sourced articles from postgraduates from Thailand, Germany, China and Australia.
Following the same format, but with different lead editors, a call for papers for the second issue was published, this time on the theme of ‘Cultural heritage in a digital age’ in February 2015. We were able publish it online in October 2015. This issue was double the length of the first edition, and included a keynote article by a Professor from the University of Birmingham’s Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering, confirming the interdisciplinary scope of the journal. The issue included six articles and an exhibition review, by authors from Australia, Turkey, Italy, Israel and the University of Birmingham. The journal also included an exclusive statement by the new International Council on Monuments and Sites UK Digital Technology Committee, as a result of contacts by the lead author.
The third issue was published in June 2016 on the theme ‘Industrial World Heritage’. It is the start of a run of four issues based upon the research of and edited by each of the AHRC studentships (who form the editorial board). The issue contained a keynote article; five crowd sourced articles and a book review. The keynote article came from a Professor from a university in America, with whom the Institute has a strategic partnership. Articles came from postgraduates from Austria, China, Brazil and the UK.
The fourth issue (edited by the author) is on the theme ‘World Heritage Education’ and will be published in September 2016. This issue includes three articles by authors from the UK, Botswana and India as well as World Heritage Youth summit reviews from the UK, Germany and Ghana. A keynote statement by the Focal Point for UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme has also been secured. It is the first time a journal has focused on World Heritage Education and the first time World Heritage Youth Summit participants have published work together.
The current call for papers is for the fifth issue on ‘World Heritage and Communities’ and the theme for the sixth issue will be ‘World Heritage Tourism’.
The advantage of an online journal is the wealth of statistical data available to evaluate the success of the journal. The 3 online ISSUU publications have been read a total of 1694 times, but has reached 9,340 people (June 2015-August 2016). The average reading time of the interactive editions is 1:31 minutes for the 1st issue, 2:44 minutes for the 2nd issue and 5:24 for the 3rd issue. The interactive journal has been read mainly on desktops (81%), followed by mobile devices (16%) then tablets (3%).
The furnace Journal Wordpress blog which includes the call for papers and individual issues has been viewed 12,794 times by 4,989 visitors since November 2014. Figure 6 shows the geographic reach of the journal as it shows the number of views by country. This data shows how successful this initiative has been.
The success is down to the significant time and energy put in by the postgraduates of the editorial board. The key challenge has been the editing of submissions by English as a foreign language student. Whilst it was always the aim to promote international publications and we were aware of the disparity in standard between English speaking and non-English authors, the reality was that a lot of time was spent working with authors to correct language and grammar.
The challenge for the future is the sustainability of the journal. Following the four themed issues based upon and edited by the Institute’s AHRC researchers, which will take the journal to six published issues by the end of 2017. However as the researchers will have completed their PhD’s and may not be at the Institute, a new editorial board is sought. The Institute has no undergraduate students only taught and research postgraduates, therefore the challenge is finding enough new PhD students who will be at the Institute for up to three years to take over the editorial board.
furnace Journal has shown that in today’s global digital age, free open access online journals are an essential mechanism to engage the postgraduate community and ensure research is published and accessible for all (both academia and the wider public). Whilst this may be a successful example of a low cost initiative, with no monetary costs, it is very labour intensive. furnace Journal has succeeded beyond a doubt in terms of global reach, digital engagement and issues published, however its true success will hinge upon its longevity, for which only time will tell.
About the Author
Davies, J G.
UK, Teaching Fellow in Cultural Heritage and PhD researcher at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, Univeristy of Birmingham, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie is a Teaching Fellow in Cultural Heritage and a PhD researcher at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham. The PhD is on Education at World Heritage Sites- How are World Heritage Values communicated within the formal learning process. Jamie holds an Archaeology BA and International Cultural Heritage Management MA from Durham University.
Written by Nevena Djakovic
Belgrade International Model United Nations (BIMUN) is an MUN with high academic quality and 13 years of experience. This project is organized by United Nations Association of Serbia. There, students all over the world have the opportunity to learn about the United Nations system and discuss some of the most important topics of today’s world. World Heritage Committee (WHC) was one of the six committees on BIMUN 2016 that took place from March 16th to March 20th in Serbia. I had the honor to be the Chair of this amazing Committee and I can say it was one of the best experiences I have had.
The topic of the Model WHC was Protection of Heritage in Areas Threatened by Extremists, one of the most important and most urgent questions for UNESCO, World Heritage Committee and whole international society. Participants were presenting countries that are currently on the WHC and they prepared very well their countries’ positions and came up with very constructive and concrete ideas and solutions during the debates. Different delegations had different suggestions for finding best solutions. Main points that were raised were regarding creation of safe zones and challenges regarding this idea, restoration of damaged sites, prosecution of smugglers and looters of the artefacts, promotion of social media campaigns such as “Unite4Heritage” and ways of using education as a long term solution to the problem.
All the ideas had one main thing in common – strong willingness and preparedness for stopping heritage destruction and providing necessary support for damaged and destroyed sites. This string connecting all the proposals lead to the final Statement that was supported by all delegations and which combined the ideas in one coherent document with strong point to it.
Greatest benefit from participation in BIMUN World Heritage Committee for all students was achievement of better understanding for the issue of destruction of heritage by extremists and the necessity of its protection. Participants that had solid knowledge and experience on this topic, shared it with others but also found out about new perspectives and information. On the other hand, participants interested in protection of heritage but without a lot of experience in this area had the chance to learn a lot about the World Heritage Committee and how it functions. Through the research before and during the conference they learned about this particular topic and everyone learned about good and bad practices and mechanism of heritage protection in different countries.
For me this experience was extremely valuable. Not just the knowledge that I gained and diplomatic skills that I have improved but great benefit of this conference was connecting with people from all over the world interested in making a positive change and willing to contribute with their knowledge and ideas and who are open for learning new things. This is the true value of BIMUN - power of young people, knowledge and positive energy all in one place. When all this is present and combined, great ideas are born and they show the importance of youth involvement and how much youth can contribute.
Written by Nevena Djakovic
Written by Nevena Djakovic
Education about heritage is one of the most important tools for its preservation. When learning about different types of heritage, different ways of preservation, why something is called heritage, we learn about its value and importance. How does heritage site get on the World Heritage List, or on the List of World Heritage in Danger? How are declarations regarding heritage adopted and who decides on these questions? One of the best ways to learn about World Heritage Committee, which is the answer to previous questions, is simulation of its work – Model World Heritage Committee (Model WHC).
My first experience with the simulation of this particular Committee was during the Young Experts Forum 2015 in Germany. I was a part of few Model UN in the past and I am a member of the organizing team of Belgrade International Model United Nations (BIMUN) which helped me a lot for Model WHC, but there was still a lot to learn. Every Committee is different regarding topics, rules of procedure etc.
The topic of our Model WHC was preservation of the world heritage site in Fontania (country and the case were made up for the simulation). Main debate was whether to put the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger or not. This decision is very important for each site because it highly impacts future actions. Fonta Wildlife Reserve, natural world heritage site in question, was endangered by certain projects that would increase development of undeveloped country Fontania but would, at the same time, cause this site to lose its characteristics which constitute an outstanding universal value.
Delegations of 21 state parties together with advisory body IUCN and observer country Fontania participated in a daylong session with fruitful discussions. Thanks to many compromises made despite disagreements and sometimes very opposing views, Declaration was drafted and later agreed upon. Fonta Wildlife Reserve was not to be put on The List of World Heritage in danger yet but serious steps were to be taken for its preservation.
Regardless of the particular result of the debate the biggest value of this simulation was that all the participants, including myself, learned a lot about how World Heritage Committee functions and how it makes decisions. We followed the Rules of Procedure, diplomatic courtesy and acted in the spirit of Convention form 1972. Declaration we adopted that day helped us to prepare for writing our Declaration for the 39th Session of the Committee which followed few days after. We could also understand the Session itself better when we were invited to observe as Young Experts or members of our country’s Delegations.
Model World Heritage Committee is one of the most interesting and productive ways of learning about World Heritage and should therefore be encouraged and practiced among youth. Belgrade International Model United Nations (BIMUN) which will take place in Serbia in March 2016 will offer students around the world opportunity to participate in the Model World Heritage Committee, as one of the 6 possible Committees that would be simulated. Applications are open from October 1st 2015 and for more information please check the following website: http://www.bimun-unaserbia.org/. It will be a great chance for everyone interested in heritage to learn more and have an amazing experience.
written by Ritika Khanna
The National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland hosted the 16th international Conference of the National Trusts, ‘Common Threads; Different Patterns’ from 7-11 September 2015 in the magnificent city of Cambridge, UK. The conference brought together heritage and conservation organizations and professionals working in the field from many different countries. It explored the question ‘What is the role and purpose of the National Trust movement in the 21st Century?’ through plenary sessions, practical workshops, activities and discussion groups.
The National Trust Movement is a global movement that unites people with a concern for heritage and cares about special places such as monuments, historic buildings, landscapes, farmlands and open spaces. It also recognizes the importance of intangible heritage which includes our customs, languages, folklore and ways of living. Abiding by this movement, there are many different National Trusts across the world and each one has its own ‘model’, own set of rules and own focus. However, all these National Trusts have one thing in common – the concern for protecting our heritage, both tangible and intangible.
The history of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland goes back to 1895 when it was established with a focus on protecting open spaces and encouraging the urban poor to enjoy it. With time, the Trust delved into issues of protecting properties, reaching out to communities and volunteers, encouraging people to get actively involved in the protection of heritage and inspiring people to know the relevance of their heritage.
At the recently held conference, members of the National Trusts and heritage professionals from across the world came together to share best practices, discover common problems and show solidarity with the fellow members of the Movement. The plenary sessions were led by representatives of different National Trusts, heritage experts and eminent professionals working in the field of heritage and conservation. The sessions revolved around themes like Global Heritage Movement without Borders, Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities, Benefits of international Co-operation and Boosting the Effectiveness and Growth of the National Trusts.
During the three activity days of the conference, the delegates were taken to five National Trust’s properties around Cambridge – Wimpole Estate, Wicken Fen, Anglesey Abbey, Ickworth Estate and the Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds. The activity days mainly consisted of discussion sessions which were conversation led and informal, with plenty of time for the delegates to know one another. The first activity day was based on ‘Cultural Identities’ where topics like using the spirit of the place, using the past to engage with contemporary issues, meeting the needs and expectations of today’s visitors and intangible heritage in a homogenising world were discussed. The second activity day revolved around ‘Growing the Movement’ and had discussion themes such as the expectations of the youth, techniques for fundraising, working with volunteers and legal and governance frameworks. The last activity day was based on ‘Land, Landscape and Nature’ and threw light on subjects like adapting land management to a changing world, relevance of agriculture and farming, landscape and urban scale conservation and working with water catchment, rivers and the coast. Each session of the activity days was facilitated by members of the National Trust and encouraged the delegates to share their perspectives with each other.
On the last day, the conference closed with a final plenary where reflections from the conference were discussed. The baton was then passed to Indonesia where the 17th International Conference of the National Trust will take place in 2017.
Apart from engaging the delegates in heritage related discussions and activities; the conference also provided ample time for everyone to enjoy the mesmerising buildings and expansive grounds of Cambridge. The five days of the conference were a perfect blend of inspiration, networking and entertainment. As a young professional, it was an honour to be a part of this esteemed conference which underlined the importance of conserving our heritage so that it is understood and enjoyed by present and future generations.
Writen by Rui Maio and Aleksandra Kozieł
The European Heritage days is an annual joint initiative from the Council of Europe and European Commission, involving about 40 countries, aiming to raise awareness and interest of citizens for the affairs related to the preservation and safeguarding of world heritage for future generations, which will take place between the 25 and 27 of September. These countries are invited to promote a program of activities at a national level, offering opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, which are not normally accessible to the public, in function of the theme proposed for each year. This year theme regards the “industrial and technical heritage: putting the spots on the roots of today’s technology and industry”. According to ICOMOS and TICCIH (The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage), the definition of industrial heritage consists of sites, structures, complexes, areas and landscapes as well as the related machinery, objects or documents that provide evidence of past or ongoing industrial processes of production, the extraction of raw materials, their transformation into goods, and the related energy and transport infrastructures. Industrial heritage reflects the profound connection between the cultural and natural environment, as industrial processes – whether ancient or modern – depend on natural sources of raw materials, energy and transportation networks to produce and distribute products to broader markets. It includes both material assets – immovable and movable – and intangible dimensions such as technical know‐how, the organisation of work and workers, and the complex social and cultural legacy that shaped the life of communities and brought major organisational changes to entire societies and the world in general. Therefore, this variety of activities should bring together all generations, let everyone find something for them. It is not a suprise, that many workshops, seminars, meetings or exhibitions expect adult participants, that are aware of the heritage importance. What is more, multiple events are prepared considering whole families.
Poland embraces the European Heritage Days initiative for the 23rd occasion. The main organization responsible for EHD is the National Heritage Board of Poland. This year the main theme of the event is entitled The Lost Heritage, which have a very special meaning. First of all, because it is connected with celebration of 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II, and by this topic, it is focused on massive losses of cultural heritage Poland suffered. Additionally, this anniversary is also reason to emphasize part of material identity that was lost as a result of resettlements and border changes after World War II. Another topic that is highlighted with reference to the Lost Heritage is the huge loss of national treasures, collections, as well as local traditions, beliefs and customs that are being forgotten. There is also another topic connected with the Lost Heritage, focused more as a topic for public debate on reason why and how we should protect heritage, that is not yet forgotten, but in the future it can be lost as, for example, postindustrial heritage.
Although main dates of EHD are 25th, 26th and 27th of September, events in Poland will last the whole month. Regional heritage will be promoted by multiple initiatives in each region of Poland. Thereby the audience can choose whether they want to participate in workshops, seminars, conferences, debates, guided tours, the openings of exhibitions, concerts, thematic games for children etc. The events will take place in castles, galleries, open-air museums, local cultural centers, all that to ensure access to regional culture, to share with a wider audience aspects that are very often little known or disappearing, especially nowadays. Children and youth are invited to participate in actions like on the castle in Sandomierz, where after lecture they will have a chance to recreate and draw the parts of the castle that do not exist anymore, or a strategy game based on the battle re-enactment in one of Prussian fortresses in Kędzierzyn Koźle. There is a proposition of design workshop in Bytom, with the special focus on ethnodesign. It will be connected with lecture and discussion with focus on the question whether ethnodesign is a chance to promote folk culture or a threat of shallowing heritage. Previously, European Heritage Days in Poland brought together around 240.000 visitors in 370 sites. There was approximately 1540 events. For this September the list of all events is not yet closed. So the statistics are not available, however within numerous propositions each and every person interested in heritage will find interesting activity.
In Portugal, the Director General of Cultural Heritage (DGPC) is the promoter organisation responsible to disseminate the national program of the European Heritage days 2015, so that this event can engage and captivate a larger audience, particularly of young people. DGPC invites both public and private entities to join this initiative, which are intended to organise and provide cultural activities such as: opening of monumental sites of both historical and heritage interest to public (preferably entrance free); workshops, talks, conferences, debates and seminars about the proposed theme; organising guided and thematic tours free of charge in strategic monumental sites; artistic events related to music, dance, theatre, performing arts contextualised within the theme; exhibitions; concerts performed in historical sites; street entertainment; photographic contests; reading sessions or even release of publications. The city Council of Vila Real de Santo António through the Research and Information Centre of Cacela’s Heritage (CIIPC) has join once again the commemorations of the European Heritage Days, inviting families to visit Benémola and learn more about the lime manufacturing process of this village, which once was full of intense activity in this particular craft industry. Nowadays, only a few old earthenware ovens and the memories of the older population remains. Therefore, to perpetuate these structures and memories, families and children are invited to learn more about this traditional craft industry through several educational games and activities, including the construction of a small earthenware oven sample.