Newsletter Sharing Heritage Expertise Online version
Sharing Heritage Expertise No.9, October 2019
Participants of the workshop ‘RxH 2019’ (more information in ‘What’s Happening Now’) on 2 September at the Marco Zero Square, Recife (Brazil) (photo: Ariano Rodrigo).
Welcome to our fall edition! The topic of our new feature article is oral histories and the use of this methodology and source of information in the context of maritime heritage and our Shared Cultural Heritage programme. We are also excited to introduce you to the National Archives of the Netherlands, one of the partners of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme and a long-lasting partner of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE). Last but not least, catch up on our recent and upcoming projects and activities around the globe. We wish you good readings!
Randall Sasaki (Kyushu National Museum, front left), and Professor Ikeda (Ryukyu University, front right), interviewing members of the local community on Tarama Island, Japan, 2016 (photo: RCE)
The use of oral histories for the understanding of shared maritime heritage
Through its Shared Cultural Heritage programme and the International Programme for Maritime Heritage, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) carries out international projects in the field of maritime archaeology and cultural heritage management. This is always done in collaboration with local partners in the countries where the historical remains are located. As a way of informing maritime history, and as part of the process of locating, understanding and/or managing maritime archaeological and heritage sites, oral histories constitute an important source of information when concerning physical remains.

Although the collection, preservation and use of oral histories is not unique to the RCE, these histories do play a unique role in the international and collaborative projects of its Shared Cultural Heritage programme. This article explores how the RCE’s experience in this field can support the work of maritime archaeologists and heritage experts working on shared cultural heritage projects.

Read the complete article here
Participants of paper restoration course at the National Archives of Suriname (2018) receive their certificate (photo: Maurice Pourchez, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Paramaribo)
Meet our Partner, the National Archives of the Netherlands
The National Archives of the Netherlands (NAN) holds over 3.5 million records created by the Dutch government, organisations and individuals of national significance. The centuries-long Dutch presence around the world, often related to the country’s colonial history, resulted in archival materials located in the Netherlands and abroad. The NAN’s archival collections are important resources for those working with shared history and heritage. As one of the partners of the Shared Cultural Heritage (SCH) programme, the NAN tries to improve the accessibility of these (SCH) archives nationally and internationally. On an international level, it does so through cooperation with institutions in the 10 SCH partner countries, such as the Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (ANRI) and the National Archives of Suriname (NAS).

The NAN has vast expertise in conservation (in tropical climates) and restoration of archives, digitisation and developing tools and methods to improve (online) accessibility. It offers advice remotely or on location to institutions and professionals working with (SCH) archives in the partner countries. Depending on the needs and the activities carried out with its partner institutions, experts from the NAN travel abroad to give trainings on conservation, restauration and/or digitisation. In Indonesia (ANRI) and Suriname (NAS), scanning facilities were set up with the support of the NAN, allowing the on-site staff to digitise their archival collection. In 2019, a similar facility will be set up at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service in Cape Town, South Africa.

The NAN aims to increase (the exchange of) knowledge and to work together to strengthen local support for the sustainable preservation and accessibility (preferably online) of archival materials to the general public and researchers worldwide. For more information about the NAN’s expertise or to explore a potential partnership, please contact Johan van Langen, Programme Manager SCH ( or Lidwien Jansen, Project Manager SCH (

Training course ‘Risk Management for Collections’ in Cazenovia in New York State (USA) // 7 – 11 October // Bart Ankersmit and Renate van Leijen (RCE) will deliver a 5-day train the trainer course, organised by the Shared Cultural Heritage programme in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It will be given to employees of this institution and it is a follow-up of the workshop organised last year in Albany. This year's location and case study is the Lorenzo State Historic Site in Cazenovia. The training is based on the RCE’s publication ‘Risk Management for Collections’ and it consists of practical assignments. The participants will be trained in this integrated approach to risk management and decision-making by learning how cultural values can be analysed, utilised and preserved. And there will be time for discussion and debate to share experiences and different views on integral decision making.

Round table meeting New York (USA) on ‘Multiperspectives of Dutch-American Heritage’ // 2 – 4 October // The Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York is organising a meeting about Shared Cultural Heritage and, more specifically, about ‘Multiperspectives of Dutch-American Heritage’. Yolanda Ezendam (RCE) is joining this meeting. Through presentations, expert panels and knowledge exchange, the purpose is to find opportunities for collaboration on these themes with cultural institutions in the USA and the Netherlands. On 5 October, the RCE will also attend the New Netherlands Institute’s 42nd annual conference on ‘New directions on the ‘Early Dutch’.

Restoration of sounding heritage in Paramaribo (Suriname) // 8 – 28 July // The restoration work of the Maarschalkerweerd organ (dated to 1890) in St. Peter's and St. Paul's Cathedral in Paramaribo started in July. In this first phase, Surinamese carpenters and furniture makers worked with organ builders of the Dutch firm Pels & Van Leeuwen. The RCE and the Foundation for Built Heritage Suriname shared knowledge about the future maintenance of the organ. Rudi van Straten (RCE) coaches this project in which knowledge exchange with local musicians about the use of organs is central. The project will end in 2021.

Publication of Report ‘Researching the International Field // October // The RCE works towards a sustainable future for shared cultural heritage with its partner countries. But there are many other organisations actively seeking international collaborations in the field of heritage. What can the RCE learn from these organisations in terms of strategies and methodologies? And what opportunities are there for future collaboration? These were the questions that Paige Foley, the author of this report and former intern at the RCE, looked into. This publication presents the results of her research, a useful resource for those aiming to find suitable partners in the international heritage field.
Built Environment
Workshop ‘Recife exchange Holland’ (‘RxH 2019’) in Recife (Brazil) // 1 – 6 September // This workshop fits into the long-lasting cooperation between Brazil and the Netherlands on Shared Cultural Heritage. Recife was founded in the second quarter of the 17th century by Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, then known as Mauritsstad. The workshop aimed at formulating a sustainable future vision for the historic city centre of Recife, as integrated into a larger urban landscape, and taking current issues related to water, climate and mobility into account. The workshop was organised by the INCITI (Federal University of Pernambuco), in collaboration with the municipality of Recife and other local stakeholders. Débora Alves (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education), Paul Meurs (SteenhuisMeurs), and Jeroen Bootsma and Frank Altenburg (RCE) contributed to the workshop.

5th Edition of the ‘Urban Heritage Strategies’ (UHS) Training, in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) // 19 – 30 August // This edition of the UHS summer course was organised by the RCE together with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The course was open to candidates from the Netherlands and from three partner countries of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme: South Africa, Brazil and the USA. The 20 participants were trained for two weeks on the economic, social and ecological facets of heritage management. Academic knowledge was offered by Erasmus University and Delft University of Technology, and practical knowledge by the RCE. The students used Rotterdam’s district of Katendrecht as a case study, in consultation with the municipality of Rotterdam. The training course was supported by the Netherlands Embassies in Brasilia and Pretoria and the Netherlands Consulate General in New York.

New documentary: ‘Peneleh, the last retreat in Surabaya’ (Indonesia) \\ Peneleh is a large European cemetery in the heart of Surabaya dating from 1840. Due to lack of maintenance, it is currently in a dilapidated state, posing a nuisance to the surrounding kampongs. At the request of the local authorities, the RCE organised a training in 2011 and 2012 for students from several local universities and formulated a policy advice for the local authorities aimed at securing Peneleh’s future, taking into account the interests of the surrounding kampongs. The RCE worked in close cooperation with Strootman Landscape Architects and A documentary has now been made to show the case of the Peneleh cemetery and to report on the training. It was produced by Tetteroo Media and commissioned by the RCE, within the framework of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme.
Maritime Archaeology
Marine geophysical survey and collection of oral information on the Kanrin-maru shipwreck in Japan \\ November 2019 \\ The RCE’s International Programme for Maritime Heritage (represented by Leon Derksen in this project) will continue its collaboration with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) to study the tangible and intangible shared maritime heritage surrounding the Kanrin-maru shipwreck. The Kanrin-maru was a Dutch-built warship delivered to Japan in 1857. It wrecked in 1871 near Kikonai, Hokkaido. The project will encompass a marine geophysical survey on the presumed wreck site, while an oral histories study will be conducted to collect the stories – both old and new – about the Kanrin-maru and its place in Dutch-Japanese history. Dutch and Japanese researchers will work together to ensure knowledge exchange, while the involvement of Japanese underwater archaeology students and volunteers will facilitate capacity building.

Start of the oral history project on the Van Bosse shipwreck in Japan \\ October 2019 \\ The RCE’s International Programme for Maritime Heritage will start its work on the project “The Van Bosse stories”. The first meetings are planned in Okinawa and on Tarama island between José Schreurs (RCE) and the partners of this project: the University of Okinawa, Leiden University, the Netherlands Embassy in Tokyo, and the Kyushu National Museum. The Van Bosse was a Dutch ship that wrecked in 1857 and whose crew members survived and managed to reach Tarama island, where they remained for several months. Today there are still stories about the shipwreck, the Dutch crew members and their time on Tarama. The goal of the project is to collect these stories, and to understand the role and importance that these stories and the wreck site have today for local communities. For instance, and as we explain in our feature article, the supposed wreck site of the Van Bosse is currently legally protected in Japan, despite the fact that the shipwreck hasn’t yet been located.
Sharing Heritage Expertise is the newsletter of the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This programme follows from the International Cultural Policy Framework of the Dutch government. Other organisations executing the national Shared Cultural Heritage Programme are DutchCulture and the National Archives of the Netherlands, and the Embassies of the Netherlands in the 10 partner countries. For more information on their activities, see their respective websites.

For more information, please visit our website (English and Dutch) or contact the editor, Sofia Lovegrove ( We welcome comments and suggestions regarding the content of our newsletter.
Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
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Postbus 1600 | 3800 BP Amersfoort
The Netherlands
+31 (0)33 – 421 7 421
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