Tom Furber profile

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Tom Furber

Royal Holloway University of London (2023)


Dr Matthew Smith


Inclusive Engagement Practice


London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) has long been at the forefront of inclusive archive practice, working collaboratively with, and archiving material from, diverse communities across the capital. This PhD by Practice in Public History project seeks to advance this practice, exploring how LMA’s Engagement and Learning programming can best serve the needs of those traditionally underrepresented in the archive profession and collections; build collaborative relationships with those communities; balance bespoke services with the need to include these voices and experiences in the mainstream of the archive’s work; and how LMA can utilise digital, artistic and other creative approaches to engage and represent new and wider audiences. Building on a review of contemporary public history, archive, and museum literature and practice, and insights gained from c.20 interviews with heritage professionals and community representatives, the project will centre around a portfolio of experimental practice. This portfolio will include twelve community engagement events and activities, each co-devised and co-designed with community representatives and involving detailed project evaluation and analysis of its results. Iterative and reflexive, this programme will evolve over the course of the project in response to feedback from community users and professionals and culminate in a set of resources to help enhance practice at both LMA and across the sector.