St Fagans is best known for its unrivalled collection of re-erected historic buildings from various parts of Wales that have been dismantled stone-by-stone and painstakingly re-built within the museum grounds. This process in itself is dependent on research for its validity and integrity. However, open-air museums are not simply about buildings and objects, but about people. As Jan Vaessen of the Netherlands Open Air Museum has said, 'We are not satisfied with taking things apart; we want to put things together.' This involves researching details of the way historic buildings were used by the people connected to them, and creating a synthesis of factual knowledge from a variety of sources in order to tell meaningful stories to our visitors.
At present we are involved in three research projects connected to historic buildings: