The Family Archive Project: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions

Project: Research

Project Details


Many families own some sort of 'family archive'; documents, photographs, heirlooms, scrapbooks, recipes and a whole range of other items that reveal insights into past generations and preserve family stories for future ones. Even if they have never thought of their collections as archives, by keeping and preserving possessions, people use these items to mould a sense of family identity.

The Family Archive Project focuses on exploring these family archives through time. It compares the ways in which modern families collect and preserve treasured possessions with similar practices in the past, making use of an inter-disciplinary methodology that draws on archaeology, history, museum studies and Classics. The project investigates how the family unit makes conscious use of curated possessions - including documents, images, objects and other materials - to develop a familial identity based on past and present generations, and how this is transmitted to future family members.
Short titleThe Family Archive Project
Effective start/end date1/11/1431/10/15


  • Arts & Humanities Res Coun AHRC: £5,405.00