Dr Sarah Hughes


I joined the University of Leeds as Project Manager on the Dialect and Heritage Project in February 2020.

The University's Dialect and Heritage project will open up the extensive Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC) to the public.  The archive includes the ground-breaking work of the Survey of English Dialects.  The survey will now be updated and made available online for the first time, with the help of volunteers recruited and trained as oral history and dialect fieldworkers and transcribers.

The University’s School of English and Library’s Special Collections will deliver the Dialect and Heritage Project in partnership with five museums – Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings in Worcestershire, Dales Countryside Museum and Ryedale Folk Museum in North Yorkshire, Suffolk’s Museum of East Anglian Life, and Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex.  The project is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund along with the University of Leeds' Footsteps Fund and other alumni donations, with partner museums also contributing to the project funding.

I have worked in the UK museums and heritage sector for over 18 years, developing and delivering heritage projects for a range of organisations including English Heritage and Kirklees Council’s Museums and Galleries.  Most recently I managed the National Lottery Heritage Funded ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ project for Reds in the Community, a registered charity delivering community and charitable activities on behalf of Barnsley Football Club.  This project involved local people and organisations in exploring and sharing the heritage of Barnsley Football Club during the club’s 130th year.

I recently completed a PhD with the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester.  My research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the ‘Histories’ strand of the Connected Communities ‘Understanding Everyday Participation’ research project undertaken through a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester, Leicester, Exeter and Loughborough. My PhD study utilised interviews and archival research (into cultural institutional histories) to deepen understanding of cultural participation and value in former mining communities in the town of Barnsley over the last hundred years. 



  • PhD (University of Leicester)
  • MA Museum Studies (University of Leicester)
  • BA History (University of Exeter)