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Towards an inventory of heritage organisations in Europe (Tijl Vereenooghe)



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The heritage field in Belgium, as elsewhere in Europe, relies to a considerable extent on the commitment of many heritage organisations. In 2005, three organisations that bring together or support many of these heritage associations in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium) joined forces to consider the roles, responsibilities, needs and opportunities of heritage organisations in the European context. This resulted in a research project and a survey, subsidised by the Flemish Government, covering, amongst other things, the impact of European regulations on the operation of Flemish heritage organisations and both the added value and the bottlenecks of European cooperation and exchange.

This study revealed that the information on heritage organisations and non-governmental organisations in Europe is very fragmented, while their diversity, when viewed from the broader concept of heritage, is greater than ever. In the past, there have been several attempts at drawing up an inventory, but these projects were not always carried out or completed. Moreover, these older projects focused exclusively on immovable heritage. Mapping out the field on this large scale is a pioneering venture, for which we wish to take the initiative from the bottom up. Our aim is to develop this unique inventory of heritage organisations in Europe in such a way as to involve the main actors in the European heritage field in helping to bring this enterprise to a successful and workable conclusion.

The ‘Inventory of Heritage Organisations in Europe’ (IHOE) wants to produce a handy overview that should facilitate contacts, encourage the exchange of information and experience, enable organisations to link up with similar organisations elsewhere, find project partners, etc. It will become a new tool for an active civil society for heritage care in Europe. The IHOE project aims at presenting an overview of all NGOs in Europe that are engaged in heritage in the broad sense of the word, ranging in scope from the supra-local to the whole of Europe. Heritage organisations that meet these criteria are asked to register themselves by using a registration form on the website www.heritage-organisations.eu.

Towards an inventory of heritage organisations in Europe (Tijl Vereenooghe)

  1. 1. Towards an inventory of heritage organisations in Europe Tijl Vereenooghe
  2. 2. A bottom-up initiative <ul><li>3 heritage NGOs in Flanders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heemkunde Vlaanderen vzw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VCM-Contactforum voor Erfgoedverenigingen vzw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FARO. Vlaams steunpunt voor cultureel erfgoed vzw </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Starting point = CoE declaration on the role of voluntary organizations in the field of cultural heritage (Portoroz, 2001) </li></ul>
  3. 3. First phase (2005-2006) <ul><li>‘ From Portoroz via Strasbourg and Brussels, towards the Heritage Organisations in Europe’ </li></ul><ul><li>Research project to consider the roles, responsibilities, needs and opportunities of (Flemish) heritage organizations in a European context </li></ul><ul><li>Target group: Flemish heritage sector </li></ul>
  4. 4. Some conclusions <ul><li>Fragmented information on heritage NGOs in Europe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Former attempts to map the sector, but </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not carried out completely </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exclusive focus on tangible heritage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>General lack of information about Europe, European funding possibilities, institutions… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brochure ‘Afraid of Europe’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity about the impact of EU legislation on heritage care </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Report on Flemish heritage policy in the European context </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Second phase: towards an inventory <ul><li>Inventory of Heritage Organisations in Europe </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why? <ul><li>Handy overview </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage the exchange of information and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Enable organizations to link up with similar organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Find project partners </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulate to build (thematic) networks </li></ul>
  7. 7. How? <ul><li>Four-lingual website (English, French, German, Dutch) </li></ul><ul><li>www.heritage-organisations.eu </li></ul><ul><li>Registration form: contact information, scope and core activities </li></ul><ul><li>First stage (2007): mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Second stage (2008): mapping + conversion into online database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search module released in July 2008 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. www.heritage-organisations.eu
  9. 9. Heritage, what’s in a name? <ul><li>In the broad sense of the word </li></ul>Archaeological heritage  Underwater heritage - underwater archaeology   Immovable heritage - built heritage       historical monuments       castles       historical dwellings      fortifications       mills       ...    Landscape heritage       landscapes, parks, gardens   Mobile heritage - transport heritage       maritime heritage       rolling heritage       riding heritage       flying heritage    Industrial and scientific heritage  Religious h eritage   Military h eritage   Musical heritage  Gastronomic heritage  Funerary heritage Museum heritage - movable heritage       Museum items and collections       Museology       Artistic heritage  Agricultural and rural heritage  Living agricultural heritage  Local genetic heritage   Oral and intangible heritage  Folk culture Dialectology - historical linguistics  Traditional crafts  Traditional costumes  Heritage performers - circus, popular theatre, puppet theatre  Heritage performers - folk dance, folk music  Festivals - parades  Ethnology  Folklore  Traditional sports and games    Archival heritage  Documentary heritage  Digital heritage  Audiovisual heritage   Re-enactment - living history   Heritage education   History       Local and regional history       Migration history       Social history       Economic history       Cultural history       Political history       Oral history Toponymy  Genealogy  Numismatics  Heraldry  Cartography   Heritage volunteers   Cyber culture …  
  10. 10. What kind of organizations? <ul><li>Non-governmental heritage organizations of every description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Umbrella organizations, volunteer organizations, professional organizations, network organizations, foundations, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supra-local scope of activity </li></ul><ul><li>September 2008: 340 organizations from 36 European countries have been registered </li></ul>
  11. 11. Contact <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory @heritage-organisations.eu </li></ul><ul><li>++32 15 20 51 74 </li></ul><ul><li>www.heritage-organisations.eu </li></ul>
  12. 12. Questions?