Everyday Heritage

Exploring ordinary, everyday & overlooked Australian heritage

Everyday Heritage is an Australian Research Council Linkage Project that aims to uncover everyday but overlooked forms of Australian heritage.

A collaboration between the University of Canberra, the University of Tasmania, the University of Western Australia and GML Heritage, the Everyday Heritage project is developing innovative methodologies across the fields of heritage, history and digital humanities, and creating new resources for communities and the heritage sector.

The project’s focus on accessible ‘everyday’ heritage, such as local heritage and family history, will open up new ways of thinking about the past in the present, and provide a wider, more inclusive range of places, stories and archives as means of engagement with the past.

The project is led by Professor Tracy Ireland at the University of Canberra, and the project team is made up of experts in the fields of heritage, history, archaeology, architecture and digital humanities.

Project aims

Everyday Heritage aims to create tools for communities, researchers and practitioners to better understand ‘everyday’ heritage and to recognise and acknowledge the values that are held in places, objects, archives and collections that may seem ordinary but can be important and meaningful.

The research will do this through three interlocking work packages:

  1. Heritage biographies that trace the ‘social life’ of heritage places, objects and archives, exploring their webs of social and cultural interaction and values to local communities.
  2. Heritage hacks that build rich social contexts around the heritage biographies by revealing everyday occurrences and experiences through the analysis of digital cultural collections such as newspaper archives.
  3. Heritage tools that apply the work of the heritage biographies and heritage hacks to create an industry-focused manual of tools, hacks, and tips that can be used to generate forms of everyday heritage.

Australian society remains divided regarding many aspects of the national past, and this project will provide tools for inclusion and civic engagement. The project’s focus on accessible ‘everyday’ heritage, and its contribution to conceptions of Australian history, will enhance public understanding and provide new knowledge about the significance of the past to present-day society.

With a special focus on Chinese heritage in Tasmania (Dr Kate Bagnall) and Indigenous heritage in Western Australia (Professor Jane Lydon), and the potential to uncover further diverse cultural histories, the project will provide practical tools for the heritage industry to better serve communities and produce tangible social and economic benefits.

Case study: Tasmania’s Chinese history and heritage

One of the special focuses of the Everyday Heritage project is on Tasmania’s Chinese history and heritage. Led by Dr Kate Bagnall and Dr Tim Sherratt, this case study will connect Chinese Tasmanian individuals and families of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to specific places across the state.

The case study will create digital maps and heritage biographies that document one layer of Tasmania’s diverse but comparatively invisible migrant heritage – which is largely overshadowed by the globally significant convict heritage story – and explore how archives of migration and citizenship can inform place-based heritage.

Working with Kate and Tim on the Tasmanian case study are Dr Annaliese Jacobs Claydon, Dr Imogen Wegman, and Dr Sophie Couchman.

Tasmanian case study publications and talks

Kate Bagnall, Chinese History, Heritage and Community in Tasmania: A Bibliography, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, March 2022, available online at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-3072437563

Tiger’s Mouth blog posts:



You can find more information at https://everydayheritage.au or contact Dr Kate Bagnall at the University of Tasmania.

The Everyday Heritage project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Canberra HREC 11545. This study has also been approved by the University of Tasmania Human Research Ethics Committee H0028828.