Interest and involvement in cultural heritage
Original title: Gisteren vandaag
Heritage is a hot topic and can stir the emotions. That much has
become clear in the Netherlands in the recent period. The debate
about Sinterklaas’ Moorish companion ‘Zwarte Piet’ (‘Black Pete’)
has exercised many people. And what of the ‘Mussert Wall’, with its
significance for the Dutch National Socialist movement in the
run-up to World War II: should it be restored or allowed to fall
into decay? Is Admiral De Ruyter a national hero or not?
This publication goes further and describes the interest in cultural heritage in a broader sense. How many people in the Netherlands are interested in heritage? How many come into contact with it, both indirectly via the media and directly through visits to cultural institutions? And how many people can be classified as ‘heritage practitioners’? (In contrast to the arts, the term ‘amateur’ is not appreciated in the heritage sector).
We describe who engages actively in heritage and in what way: millers, archaeologists, genealogists. Have they built organisations on the basis of their passion, and if so, how? Which activities do they undertake and how do they obtain information?
We brought together nationally available data and conducted a survey. We also explored the local social heritage fabric in the municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn (including villages such as Boskoop and Benthuizen which are part of this municipality).
Andries van den Broek and Pepijn van Houwelingen are researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research|SCP. Andries carries out research in the fields of culture, cultural policy and sustainability, while Pepijn’s research interests focus on social and political participation.
The cover photo was taken in the Grootmoederstijd social history museum, the passion of a couple living in the polders in the municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn.