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The 'turtle' as an illustration of research that equally promotes the use of tangible and intangible heritage resources to safeguard historic buildings: an example of a foreign family's heritage recovered in historic Hankow, China.

Lookup NU author(s): Gerard Corsane



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The ‘turtle’ as illustration of how evidence in tangible and intangible heritage resources need to be considered together in the safeguarding of historic buildings: an example of a personal family heritage in historic Hankow, China.At the heart of this paper is the symbol of the ‘turtle’, as an illustration of how tangible and intangible cultural heritage resources and evidence must be researched in a holistic and integrated manner for a sound heritage management approach, especially when it comes to the protection of historic buildings. The turtle shell represents a large part of the tangible heritage fabric of historic buildings, along with other tangible resources including photographs and documents. The intangible cultural heritage, including oral testimonies and shared memories, make up the living turtle creature itself, which provides the heart-beat and life-blood to this tangible material culture.In my personal family’s history and heritage, my paternal grandfather started the Hankow He Li Ice Works in Hankou, now part of greater Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, during the first decade of the 20th Century. The first building was built in 1902 and started production in 1904. In 1921, the original Ice Works building was expanded and a further new Aerated Water Works building started production.From 2012, research has been undertaken to research the memories associated with these two buildings. The building that housed the Hankow Aerated Water Works has been recognised, listed and protected at both Hubei Province and Wuhan City levels, as an Industrial Heritage site. The extended Hankow Ice Works Building has not received the same level of respect, even although from intangible local memories, family testimony and tangible photographic and documentary evidence, it has much more historical significance. The Aerated water Works building is more architecturally aesthetic, while the Ice Works building does not have any attractive architectural features.This paper shows how research into the tangible and intangible cultural heritage sources of evidence has been equally drawn on to recover this displaced heritage. This research is an example of the ‘turtle’ approach to integrated heritage research and management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Corsane G

Editor(s): Lira S; Amoêda R; Pinheiro C

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Sharing Cultures 2017 - 5th International Conference on Intangible Heritage

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 101-117

Online publication date: 28/08/2017

Acceptance date: 26/08/2017

Date deposited: 23/11/2017

Publisher: Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789898734280


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