PhD Research


The inappropriate use of survey techniques in historic preservation stems from poor communication and knowledge of new methods of documentation between those how are responsible for managing historic sites and those who are given the responsibility of conducting field surveys.


The main focus of this research is different methods in documentation of historic monuments. The diversity of documentation methods pose the question of which method should be used in any given documentation project. In general, the following issues exist:


  1. There is no systematic process for determining and evaluating the selection criteria.
  2. Lack of communication between professionals of different disciplines involved in heritage preservation.
  3. Lack of knowledge of the current technological improvements on information users’ part (e.g. conservationists, architects, historians, etc.)
  4. Lack of interest or understanding of the value and sensitiveness of cultural properties on information providers’ part (e.g. surveyors, photogrammetrists, technicians, etc.)
  5. Tendency to use the most expensive method in order to justify its appropriateness.


The purpose of this research is to investigate the procedures and dynamics of method/technique selection for recording and documenting historic monuments. The objectives are:


  1. To improve criteria for facilitating the selection procedures
  2. To develop guidelines to be used by information providers and information users in the field of historic preservation.
  3. To facilitate dialogue between information users and providers by circulating feedbacks on the results of different rounds of the survey.


Documentation of historic monuments is changing rapidly, as a consequence of improvements of technology and upgraded perceptions about preservation of the cultural property. Therefore there is an unpublished body of knowledge that makes performing surveys and interviews with leading professionals inevitable. This will assist in generating data and gaining insights, opinions and thoughts on the topic from experts with different backgrounds and viewpoints and will give access to unpublished information.


To this end, I am planning to use a modified Delphi survey as part of my data collection phase. The planned survey will have two rounds of questionnaires. I submit a brief analysis of the result of each round to all participants in that round along with the next round questionnaire. At the end, I will also send a summary of the overall outcomes to all participants of the survey.


The proposed approach will have the following benefits:


  1. The likely benefits to the researcher are a better understanding of current practices in recording and documentation of cultural property and a better understanding of available technologies and different approaches towards heritage recording.
  2. The likely benefits to the participants are a better understanding of opinions of other professions involved in historic preservation and a better understanding of the challenges their colleagues are faced with.
  3. The likely benefits to the research community and society are better knowledge of issues in heritage recording and increasing the knowledge base in an area where little primary research exists.


The University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board has approved this research study.




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