Frequently Asked Questions - Shared Cultural Heritage programme

General information


What is Shared Cultural Heritage?
With Shared Cultural Heritage we refer to the tangible and intangible traces of a history that the Netherlands shares with other countries. For example, this heritage can consist of archives, forts and other edifices, cultural landscapes but also traditions, language, clothes, music, food and much more. 
What is the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme?

The Shared Cultural Heritage Programme is part of the International Cultural Policy of the Netherlands, and has the aim of preserving, conserving and strengthening the visibility of Shared Cultural Heritage both in the Netherlands and in other countries. The programme serves as a platform for promoting and supporting cooperation between the Netherlands and its international partners in order to increase awareness and mutual reflection on our shared past and to foster present and future relations and cultural exchange. In the current policy period, the programme is focusing on ten partner countries: Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname and the United States.

What parties work within the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme?
The programme is part of the Netherlands’ international cultural policy, formulated and coordinated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme is executed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the National Archives of the the Netherlands, DutchCulture and the embassies of the Netherlands in the ten focus countries. Besides these core executive bodies, there is a bigger network of Dutch and international partners that participate in the project. 
How could I benefit from the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme?

Each organisation offers different kinds of support for people who work, or are planning to work, in the field of Shared Cultural Heritage.

DutchCulture has a Matching Fund which supports projects by Dutch organisations that contribute to the visibility of Shared Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands and/or one of the partner countries. DutchCulture also has an International Visitors Programme for foreign heritage professionals and can offer travel grants to Dutch cultural operators and experts. DutchCulture can also help you with your international ambitions by providing free tailored advice and networking opportunities.

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands works closely with ten partner countries and with our Dutch partners within an extensive international network of administrations and heritage experts at universities, local companies and residents. Together with our partner countries, we aim at the sustainable maintenance and utilization of our shared cultural heritage, and to build a prosperous future, thus increasing the significance of our shared heritage. Within the framework of the programme, we focus on the themes of Maritime Archaeology, Collections and Built Environment. We support local experts by means of knowledge exchange in the form of training courses and workshops, tailor-made advice and instruments, share our expertise and develop tools such as step-by-step plans, instructions, manuals, guidelines and inventories.

The National Archives of the Netherlands holds many records related to the colonial, trading and migration history of the Netherlands in the period from 1600 to 1975. At the same time, records from the Dutch colonial period have survived in repositories all over the word, like Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Suriname and the United States. The archives contain a wealth of valuable information about the Netherlands and countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas and about the relations between those countries. Together with archival institutions and experts in our partner countries, we aim to improve the preservation, accessibility and visibility of these archives. By means of supporting partners in the field of conservation and restoration of archives, by digitisation and online publication of archival collections and by stimulating and facilitating international research. We're always interested in hearing proposals or ideas in these fields from potential partners.

Embassies: Local organisations in the partner countries can apply to the Dutch embassy in their country for funding, as well as for help and support with contacting Dutch experts and organisations. Please see this page or contact DutchCulture for information on how to contact the Dutch cultural attaché in your country.

Other: Beside these options, national funds such as the Mondriaan Fun, Creative Industries Fund NL, Samenwerkende Maritieme Fondsen and Prins Bernhard Cultural fund have schemes that could support a shared heritage project. Please keep in mind some of these funds are only accessible for Dutch applications.
Does the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme fund projects?

As a Dutch organisation, you can apply to the Shared Cultural Matching Fund at DutchCulture. Similarly, national funds such as Mondriaan Fund has schemes that could support Shared Cultural Heritage related projects. 

Local organisations in the Shared Cultural Heritage countries can apply to the Dutch embassy in their country. Please see website Ministry of Foreign Affair of the Netherlands or contact DutchCulture for information on how to contact the Dutch cultural attaché in your country.

Where can I find more information about past projects?

DutchCulture maintains a database of past and present Shared Cultural Heritage projects that have received support from the Matching Fund. This way you can get a better idea of the projects that have already taken place, and by and with whom they were executed

How do I stay up to date on projects and events and receive invitations?

You can subscribe to the bi-monthly Shared Cultural Heritage Newsletter to receive news in your inbox. Or you can keep an eye on our online calendar and Facebook page.

How do I know if a project is supported by the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme?

When a project receives support it is added to our database. The Shared Cultural Heritage Programme has its own logo, which can be used and downloaded here.