Course description

While museums and other heritage agencies are skilled at preserving the tangible evidence of our past and present, they are less adept at also preserving the intangible items that reflect and perpetuate peoples' cultural heritage, including:

  • traditional practices
  • art forms
  • crafts
  • religious and social customs
  • languages
  • oral histories
  • stories
  • cultural values and perspectives

This course explores the nature and value of intangible cultural heritage, along with the significant challenges associated with documenting, preserving, and interpreting, these resources in meaningful ways.

Learning objectives

You develop your understanding of:

  • the role of intangible heritage in cultural identity
  • factors that motivate the growing international interest in the preservation of intangible heritage
  • culturally diverse perceptions of the nature, value and management of intangible heritage resources
  • the preservation and documentation challenges associated with a range of intangible heritage resources
  • integrated approaches to the management and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage
  • considerations relating to sensitive, sacred and ethical matters


Note: though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course.

Please contact the Program Coordinator, Tusa Shea, directly at if you have any questions or concerns.


Dale Jarvis is the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. He holds a BSc in Anthropology/Archaeology from Trent University, and a MA in Folklore from Memorial University. He has been working for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador since 1996. He has contributed as a board member and volunteer to many local arts and heritage organizations, and regularly teaches workshops on oral history, cultural documentation, folklore project management and public folklore. In 2014, Dale served on UNESCO’s Consultative Body for the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. His most recent book—released in October 2014—is entitled Any Mummers ‘Lowed In?: Christmas Mummering Traditions in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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