Methodological Considerations of Written Heritage Interpretation


  • Ines Horvat Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Osijek
  • Damir Hasenay Department of information sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


written heritage, interpretation, methodology, preservation


Cultural heritage can be viewed as a cultural process that reflects contemporary cultural and social values, and is subject to the process of management, legislative frameworks, financial resources, education, the process of preservation, and research. Cultural heritage research that is conducted on all phenomena of cultural heritage includes various methods used to achieve knowledge of heritage and its values, as well as its preservation and long-term accessibility. It is important to look at heritage from as many aspects as possible so that the information obtained from the research can be disseminated to users of heritage institutions and the public. Researching some of these aspects includes analysis of text, research of users, and research of the object or material aspect of cultural heritage. Research also has to include a cultural and social component because heritage is linked to people (heritage community and general public) precisely through social processes and experiences by which people add value and significance to heritage and thus collectively care for it to ensure its continuity, authenticity, and identity. Written heritage on various media is one of the most numerous types of cultural heritage stored and preserved in heritage institutions. It is necessary to preserve it in a way that ensures its availability, 'readability' and ability to be reused which, in turn, can be achieved by preserving its material and informational aspect. Written heritage is also specific because of the values which are inherent to it, especially the informational value. Its preservation has a cultural and social value for the heritage community. The aforementioned values can be used for organizing activities that raise public awareness and understanding of written heritage. The organization of such activities should be based on an impartial analysis, which should as a result have an objective description of the material and informational aspect of written heritage. Understanding all of the specific factors of written heritage and methodology used in the research of cultural heritage in general, it should be considered in which way it is possible to answer research questions which concern the goal of objective description of written heritage and planning interpretation activities. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the methodological limitations and possibilities concerning the specific field of written heritage interpretation and methods applied in the research of cultural heritage in general.