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Cultural Heritage and New Media Archives


Admission requirements

Propedeuse in the Humanities


Memory is not what is used to be. The location, the texture, the accessibility of memory and heritage are altering rapidly in the digital age. What does it mean to enter institutional archives for example museum or video- archives at home, online? And what does it mean for museums to have more and more demand for digital framing of their collection through apps and installations?

The digital turn has enormous implications for the future of our past. How will we select, preserve and store our cultural heritage for future generations? The nearly unlimited capacity for storage of visual, aural and discursive material means that the character of heritage will never be the same. In this course, we will pose and theoretically frame some fundamental questions about these changes.

This is a course in two parts. In the first half, we will focus specifically on digital heritage and new media archives. Focusing on worldwide post-war and conflict situations specifically, we will analyze the affordances and constraints of new media (such as video) archives and collections. The course will focus in this part on six case studies, from Rwanda to Poland, and familiarize you with the relevant theoretical and methodological approaches to research such digital forms of heritage. In the second part, we will focus on the collection, presentation, conservation and management of tangible cultural heritage. The emphasis will be on the development of the museum and on architectural, social and theoretical issues concerning contemporary museums and museum presentations.

The course is part of the minor in Cultural Memory or War and Conflict, but may be taken as an elective too.

Course objectives

  • Being able to distinguish the most important types of collections in various museums, archives, monuments, and heritage sites and identify similarities and differences.

  • Being able to classify, characterize and analyse heritage collections and to analyze the different functions of cultural heritage.

  • Being able to identify, understand and evaluate crucial historical and contemporary museum practices and debates.

Having knowledge of the basic characteristics, affordances and restraints of the new media of the 20th and 21st century. Being able to apply this knowledge to analyze usage, accessibility and framing of heritage.


The timetable website

Mode of instruction

  • A series of lectures.

Course Load

140 hours

Tutoring= 28 hours
Preparation for lectures: 42 hours
Preparation for the final exam: 32 hours
Excursion: 8 hours
Midterm assignment: 20 hours

Assessment method

Please indicate here how the course is assessed.

  • Written examination 50%

  • Midterm assignment: 50%


Blackboard will be used for:

  • communication and to pass on announcements

  • information about the content of the course

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.


This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department. Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Contact information
For practical matters please contact the secetarial office Opleiding Nederlandse taal en cultuur/neerlandistiek. This is located at Departmental office P.N. van Eyckhof 4, first floor room 101A. Tel. 071-527 2604.