Preservation of cultural heritage is often carried out by voluntary workers in local communities, especially when the objects are not of major national interest, not listed, and not preserved by heritage authorities. The motivation for local preservation, and for spending time and money on objects belonging to the community, is not primarily to preserve cultural heritage objects for the future, but to establish and maintain common social institutions in the local society, institutions of vital importance to the local identity. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the local understanding of heritage relates to its official understanding in a Norwegian context. The paper will also examine to what degree the Norwegian heritage authorities have managed to implement the emphasis on local participation and the social dimensions of heritage, given strong articulation in later international conventions. Criteria for value assessment, as defined by national heritage authorities, do not seem to play a vital role in the local heritage field. The central authorities’ focus on professionalism, qualified management, and predefined criteria appears to meet limited resonance in local communities.
2011. 564-587 p.