2022-23 'Reading the Room: Accessing books in heritage spaces'
TORCH Knowledge Exchange Innovation Fund Awardee
Professor Sophie Ratcliffe | Faculty of English | University of Oxford
The National Trust
For the international research community, the National Trust libraries offer a remarkable opportunity to encounter rare books in non-institutional spaces, and for the research community to explore the library as a collection with material links to its surroundings and readers. Yet they are hard to access and little known.
How might research into the collections offer new ways into the visitor experience, and how might access to the collections enhance future research? We now have the opportunity for innovation which will transform engagement with the collections for both sets of users.
'Reading the Room: Accessing books in heritage spaces' aims to understand better the engagement opportunities offered by these unique book collections. What do visitors, property curators and researchers want to know about the National Trust's heritage libraries? And what might innovative forms of access look like? These questions will shape a series of scoping and networking activities to answer these questions.