Royal Garrison Church in Old Portsmouth

Explore our heritage research

Innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to documenting, preserving and presenting heritage for the future

The Heritage Hub brings together researchers and professionals from across the university to tackle key issues in heritage and heritage conservation locally, nationally and internationally.

We encourage traditional, creative and innovative methods and tools to protect and preserve tangible and intangible heritage.

With communities at the heart of our research and innovation activities, the hub promotes cross- and interdisciplinary approaches to preserving both tangible and intangible heritage for communities, policy-makers and organisations.

The Heritage Hub aims to:

  • provide a focus for university engagement with heritage partners locally, nationally and internationally
  • encourage and support successful and inclusive heritage research and community engagement within the university and with local communities
  • develop and implement an interdisciplinary dialogue and agenda for heritage research, community engagement and professional practices and for resilient and sustainable development of our places and communities

Our research themes

Our interdisciplinary approaches are represented in six heritage-based areas:

Stern of the HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Oral histories, communities and identity

Oral histories allow us to better understand the thoughts, feelings and motivations of ordinary people in a way that ‘official’ historical documents cannot. We can:

  • advise on ‘best practice’ in the development of oral history projects
  • deliver oral history training for groups or businesses
  • organise and capture oral histories for specific projects
  • advise on ethics, cataloguing and data storage of recorded interviews
  • provide a platform to showcase projects and outcomes
  • advise on online or hard copy publications and exhibitions of projects
Naval artefacts in a museum

Conservation science

This theme focuses on landscape change and preserving our ecological heritage. We have ongoing collaborations with Fishbourne Roman Palace and Cumberland House Natural History Museum.

At Fishbourne we aim to build an understanding of how landscapes and land use have evolved over the past 2,000 years, and how people relate to landscapes and perceive these changes.

With Cumberland House Natural History Museum, we are digitising and cataloguing botanical specimens within the Portsmouth Museums herbarium collection (PMH), to make them available to the wider research community, citizen scientists and amateur naturalists.

HMS Warrior seen through a window in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Valuing heritage

In today’s evolving world, celebrating the past, promoting and valuing heritage engenders people’s engagement with heritage, and heritage can contribute to both social, business and economic development and growth.

The aspirations of this theme relate to the conservation and preservation of heritage assets and culture.

They accord to circular economy, sustainability and low carbon optimisation for the productivity of culture and heritage assets and in capturing the value of these along with the economics of their uniqueness.

Central to this is a focus on wellbeing, inclusive growth and accessibility.

A pair of hands flicking through a historical archive

Community heritage

The main focus of this theme is community outreach to help share and connect our heritage research with a wider audience.

This work includes efforts around identifying, collecting and preserving heritage collections which may comprise objects, archival material and oral histories.

We also aim to identify appropriate funding opportunities and enable the creation of strong funding bids in partnership with community and heritage organisations. Our aspirations are to build and strengthen relationships with stakeholders in Portsmouth and beyond, as well as to support and develop local heritage capacity.

Digital representation of a tall ship

Connected heritage

Digital heritage is an emerging multidisciplinary field that combines the expertise of heritage management, museum studies, history, archaeology, conservation, preservation and current digital and emerging technologies.

Digital heritage conducts research on the impact and application of digital technologies in a cultural heritage context.

It seeks to create novel approaches and opportunities for understanding and experiencing the past, ensuring that cultural heritage remains relevant and accessible in the digital age.

Landing Craft Tank 7074 at the D-Day Story Museum in Portsmouth

Local built and maritime heritage

Portsmouth’s local built heritage derives from maritime heritage and shapes people’s heritage. 

As a hub of naval architecture and maritime culture within Britain’s invasion coast, the city connected global naval bases and dockyards whose communities blended and returned, like Bermuda’s 1950 dockyard apprentices.

This theme focuses on the community’s intimate engagement with and vision of its built heritage through the Portsea Heritage Project, Growing Portsea and Treadgold’s stories, building resilience and intergenerational connections.

Research projects

Publication highlights

Funding landscape and development

The Heritage Hub is built on a cross-disciplinary professional approach that provides a focus for historical, archaeological and community based research for the south of Hampshire and beyond.

With academic partners, authorities, stakeholders and local communities, we commit to explore and develop diverse streams of funding that contribute to local, national and international heritage matters.

We are open to exploring community led (e.g. Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England), government (e.g. UK Shared Prosperity Fund) as well as academic (e.g. UKRI and Horizon Europe) funding streams. 


Each year in September, the Heritage Hub hosts Heritage Week. This series of events is an opportunity for academics and the public to discover the latest in heritage research at the university and how our expertise can benefit the wider community in Portsmouth and beyond.

Latest news

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New project to measure the value of digital culture and heritage to society

21 September 2023

New project to measure the value of digital culture and heritage to society
Mary Rose Heritage Event; 7th June 2019

Free public events focusing on the region’s local heritage

11 September 2023

Free public events focusing on the region’s local heritage
Mary Rose Heritage Event; 7th June 2019

University to host major international architectural heritage conference

7 September 2023

University to host major international architectural heritage conference
View of the Historic Dockyard through a heritage window

Professor to present research at the prestigious Venice Biennale

23 June 2023

Professor to present research at the prestigious Venice Biennale
Photo of the Museum building from outside
Portsmouth Museum - City Guide 2022

Researchers to dive deeper into Portsmouth’s history and culture

2 June 2023

Researchers to dive deeper into Portsmouth’s history and culture

Latest blogs and podcasts

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Virtual Reality Relics - Introduction title with logo

Virtual Reality Relics ft Dr Claire Bailey-Ross

Virtual Reality Relics ft Dr Claire Bailey-Ross
 Stone mining - Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

Portland Stone and Pork Pies: GIs, Trade Marks and Heritage

Portland Stone and Pork Pies: GIs, Trade Marks and Heritage
Heritage Hub

University of Portsmouth Heritage Hub

University of Portsmouth Heritage Hub
Exploring Shipwrecks in UK Waters - with logo and introduction title

Exploring Shipwrecks in UK Waters ft. Dr Ann Coats

Exploring Shipwrecks in UK Waters ft. Dr Ann Coats
Life solved 2022 census

Secrets of the 1921 Census

Secrets of the 1921 Census

Opportunities to study heritage and heritage conservation


Discover why you should do your PhD at the University of Portsmouth – and explore the subject areas you can study in, how to fund your PhD, and how to apply.

Male University of Portsmouth PhD student in X-Ray Fluorescence laboratory
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Our members

Heritage Hub chairs

Tarek Teba Portrait

Dr Tarek Teba

Associate Professor in Architectural Heritage

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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