New Book Release Edited by Professor Melanie Hall

in Uncategorized
December 7th, 2011

mhallTowards World Heritage
International Origins of the
Preservation Movement 1870–1930

Edited by Melanie Hall, Boston University

Historic preservation of landscapes and buildings was an important development of the 19th century in many countries. There is, however, surprisingly little understanding about how it took place, and research into it is narrowly focused. For example, landscape preservation from this time  generally is examined separately from buildings; preservation is seen in  terms of national narratives, or considered within the contexts of area  studies, and is usually seen from a specific disciplinary perspective. All of these later categorizations did not apply at the time and consequently, a very partial view is achieved.

This dynamic collection of essays brings together a trans-disciplinary line-up of academics and practitioners to reconsider preservation’s origins in the second half of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. With a focus on Britain and the British Empire, and including case studies from the United States, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Sri Lanka, “The Holy Land” and Turkey, this book places preservation in imperial, international, and national contexts, demonstrating far more interaction between different countries in this arena than may be supposed and revealing remarkable but hitherto hidden overlaps.

It examines three main themes: the influence of religion; the political and sub-diplomatic aspects of preservation; and the professionalization of preservation practice. Internationalizing trends already existed through the churches, the universities, and the diplomatic services, as well as familial ties that had an important impact on preservation’s epistemic communities and its targets.