British Studies Web Pages
Intentionally given first to emphasise the international context of heritage - that it has the power to bring people together
UNESCO www.unesco.org/whc/sites for info on world heritage sites in every country
ICOM www.icom.org international museum organisation with extensive articles and links
CULTIVATE www.cultivate-europe.org An EU initiative (including the BC in Poland) - a very good and interesting website
Polish/ Central-East European
http://pogranicze.sejny.pl (there is an English version)
A cross-border cultural organisation based in Sejny - Pogranicze in English is ‘Borderlands’. Publishers of Krasnogruda a multilingual magazine of poetry, prose, art work and so on. It has links to other cross-border organisations e.g. Batory Foundation
http://free.ngo.pl/borussia another cross-border organisation based in Olsztyn (there is an English version)
The International Culture Centre in Kraków (next door to the BC on the Rynek)www.mck.krakow.pl A lot of activity and promotion of international cooperation on the theme of heritage with many conferences, exhibitions, research projects and publications each year. In 2001 for example, there was a conference entitled Central Europe: a new dimension of heritage
http://poland.pl general national Polish site available in English with some cultural links - rather few however as a large number of others obviously exist
www.polskiinternet.com/english/spor/1museum.html a Polish-American site (I think), with links to Polish heritage sites
Sites giving basic information about heritage webpageswww.aboutbritain.com
This tourist site has basic information about a huge number of ‘heritage’ and other sites in the UK plus links to the websites of over 250 towns - much more easy to access than the National Trust and English Heritage but doesn’t include tourist attractions under their care see review for a more detailed perspective on this site.
www.enjoybritain.com connected to the site above - a large number of links to the specific websites of the heritage sites as well - good whether you know what you are looking for or not
Oral history is a very powerful way of introducing heritage into the classroom. The power of authentic living voices is very strong. If you download the free software Real Player Audio you will be able to play the samples which are offered free on theses sites. The taste of British life they give cannot be replicated in text (though most have transcripts of the interviews).
The samples are brief and can be used alongside transcripts by intermediate students. It’s not a good idea to have activities unconnected with the cultural theme as it would diminish their impact as cultural documents. Perhaps activities encouraging your students to make their own oral histories from family, friends, neighbours and so on is the best idea. The interview is the beginning and stimulus not the end.
The Oral History Societywww.oralhistory.org.uk www.ohs.org.uk is a popular organisation for those interested and gives excellent advice on the technical aspects of making recordings as well as how to approach potential interviewees in a sensitive and responsible way.
The British Libraryhttp://www.bl.uk/collections/sound-archive/history.html has an extensive library most of which is unavailable free - however you can play a recording made in 1990 of Florence Nightingale talking of her life.
http://www.bl.uk/education/projects/voices/main.htm is a site of the British Library with educational activities for school students. Of particular interest is a collection of holocaust memories recorded from survivors who ended up in Britain after the Second World War. They are very moving and require no activities.
The BBC have a variety of recordings freely available from its Century Road series which marked the end of the century. Very interesting recollections from past and even recent history (e.g. a Bob Dylan concert). Also they have recordings of the first generation of post-war Caribbean immigrants who arrived on the Windrush and in a sense they are speaking of their confrontation with British heritage - www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/multicultural/index.shtml. The BBC history site which can be accesses through here is a very rich source for those interested in British Studies.
Organisations responsible for looking after heritage sites
English Heritagewww.english-heritage.org.uk not an easy site to get into or download from but a great deal there e.g. on a working, interactive, profit making approach to heritage - alive - not preserved/ pickled. However this is a government organisation and they only include places directly under Govt protection - therefore it is not the general site it might seem.
The National Trustwww.nationaltrust.org.uk a long-established organisation dedicated to preserving large country houses, stately homes and the countryside (especially the coastline). Good for links.
Department of Culture, Media and Sport(DCMS) www.dcms.gov.uk the current name for the government department with responsibility for heritage
www.ukonline.gov.uk A government search engine not only through all its departments but including many other non-profitmaking organisations. Type in the aspect of life you are interested in, however obscure. It seems user friendly and accessible - sites are given in order of ‘popularity’, but if you’re not specific there can be rather a lot. Type in ‘Heritage’…