GW4-National Trust Colonial Connections Community of Practice

Project Details


During 2021-2022 the GW4-National Trust Bridging the Gap (BTG) partnership builds
a community of practice of GW4 academics to work with specific
National Trust properties across South-West and Wales on the theme of Colonial
Connections. The programme runs from December 2021 - July 2022 and aims to
nurture a research community who will undertake a programme of development work at
specific sites.
Academic staff from the GW4 universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter) is working on a certain NT property through collaboration and shared exploration with National
Trust curators and managers.
Around 5 academic participants are working for each property with each group receiving a small pump-prime budget to co-develop a programme of activity leading to future research or knowledge exchange.
Colonial Connections originally started in January 2020 with a workshop held in
Bristol. Activity was paused during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new
programme does not require applicants to have participated in the 2020 workshop.

The aim of the programme is to establish an expert Community of Practice across GW4
universities and the National Trust, fund pilot projects or development work at a series of
National Trust properties and places, and to enable further funding bids or projects to
emerge from the development opportunities this creates.
Teams will work autonomously to explore future research possibilities relevant to
each National Trust property. Collectively, the community of practice will be encouraged
• Look at what culture change means within specific properties from different
perspectives, for example, volunteers, members, staff, local communities
• Consider how intergenerational conversations offer a route to explore the value
and significance of places for different publics.
• Co-author articles for publication in the National Trust’s Arts, Buildings &
Collections (ABC) bulletin1, GW4 Newsletter and National Trust staff Research

The community of practice will work over a 7-month period (January – July 2022).
Academic members will work as part of a small team working on a particular National
Trust property and collectively as a member of the larger network (the Community of
Practice) for sharing ideas and best practice. Participants will work in a hybrid way, using
online and in person meetings as appropriate, with access to an asynchronous chat
function and digital filing cabinets to share resources.
Small teams of academics plus property curators and collections/property
managers are established. Each team will work together to develop a programme of
activities that will draw out new areas of future research or knowledge exchange work to
address the colonial connections in the specific property.
Each team will be encouraged to work autonomously on issues they identify as
being important in dialogue with the BTG GW4-National Trust Working Group and
property staff. Teams will come together as the Community of Practice for workshop
meetings to share issues, ideas, interests and best practice. Each team will receive
small-scale funding to support travel and subsistence and development work that will
support the future research of the specific property/collection.
Effective start/end date14/12/2130/09/22


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.