Building a Healthier City 2: slum clearance, council housing and renovation in Bath, 1890-1995


  • Mrs Lucy Powell

    Bath and North East Somerset Council, United Kingdom

Project summary

This project will work with two community groups affected by housing issues to develop artist-led workshops exploring housing archives. It will deliver creative archive workshops to participants from the groups, to promote wellbeing and  evaluate traditional and creative approaches to archive engagement. By broadening Bath Record Office (BRO)'s collections and preserving creative responses from the groups.

The records of Bath's housing history offer outstanding opportunities for research into the relationship between housing and health. Whilst they are principally made available through academic channels, this project will provide BRO staff with an opportunity to introduce members of the community affected by housing issues to our online catalogue, project resources and original housing records. These records were created by the Council for official purposes. Through engaging activities facilitated by artists, supported by community ambassadors, and project managed by Creativity Works (our community engagement partner), this project will allow participants to interact with records of the past in the light of their own experiences, providing them with creative space and enhancing wellbeing. BRO will collect, preserve and make available these creative responses, broadening the perspectives available to researchers. In-depth evaluation will explore whether creativity adds engagement and research value and could broaden our audiences to inform future work. The project will provide a vital opportunity for the BRO team to develop public engagement skills. Results will be shared with participants and the public via open days and social media and with professional audiences using our and our partners? networks.