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Bring It On! Increasing Heritage Participation Through Engagement Opportunities at Unconventional Places

  • Monique H. van den DriesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

To enlarge the public engaging with archaeology has been one of the prime objectives of the sector during the last couple of decades. It is however easier said than done to get the attention of the public and to lure them into participation; there is a fierce competition to get a share of the little leisure time individuals have. Moreover, studies show that participants often have a specific demographic profile and it is difficult to persuade new target groups into participating. However, they also show that there is a potential audience waiting to be seduced to participate. On the basis of three case studies from the Netherlands, the author discusses an alternative approach to public engagement that turned out to be helpful in attracting those segments of the public that usually participate less. Two concern archaeological exhibitions at unconventional locations such as a shopping centre and a day care centre for disabled people. In the third, archaeology was almost literally offered in people’s backyard.

Keywords

Heritage participation Potential audiences Democratic access Inclusiveness Well-being 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would first of all like to thank all respondents to our surveys, in particular the clients of Ipse de Bruggen and the people that take care of them, as well as the managers and other staff members that allowed us to conduct the research. This also goes for the archaeological departments of the municipalities of Oss and Rotterdam, and for the people involved in the Stichting Tijdtrap. I am very grateful to the students that helped collecting the data for the three case studies (Diana Visser; Mark van Kesteren; Malou Hoogduin; Fiep Korstanje; Chi-Ching Lam en Rosanne Vroom), and the colleagues with whom these studies were carried out, Krijn Boom, Arnout van Rhijn, Annemarie Willems and Tom Hazenberg. The research was made possible thanks to the financial support of the European Commission, through the NEARCH project (www.nearch.eu).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ArchaeologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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