National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Shared Cultural Heritage Program

Shared Cultural Heritage stands for the tangible and intangible traces left abroad by the Netherlands during their trade and colonial history. Examples of shared heritage projects include making the archives of the Dutch East India Company and West India Company accessible for research and education, training and capacity building for local experts on redevelopment and conservation of built heritage and underwater archaeology, and raising more awareness for shared heritage and its meaning for people today. From 2009 onwards the National Archives of the Netherlands is a partner in the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme. This Programme, which is an initiative of and financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is aimed at maintaining shared cultural heritage and making it accessible, and thus making the shared past tangible.

Policy framework

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have together drawn up a policy framework for the International Cultural Policy 2017-2020. This policy framework is intended to formulate the ambitions regarding the International Cultural Policy and to set down a structure for realizing these ambitions. Shared Cultural Heritage is


The National Archives implements the Shared Cultural Heritage programme in association with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, DutchCulture, the Dutch embassies and various institutions in the heritage field. DutchCulture informs the shared heritage field and government, gives coherence to shared heritage activities and ensures greater visibility. 


Since May 2013, DutchCulture issues a digital SCH newsletter. Subscribe by using the online form.

Contact and information

For more information, please contact Programme Manager Johan van Langen,