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What is DEN ?

DEN is the Dutch knowledge centre for digital heritage and culture.

DEN supports cultural and heritage institutions to improve their digital strategies and services. The sharing of knowledge of and experiences with ICT is a core mission of DEN. Furthermore, DEN encourages the institutions to invest in open technology, to implement ICT-standards and to make use of other tools that contribute to sustainable information services.
Read more about DEN in our corporate flyer.
DEN is sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science.

Did you know that DEN…

For whom?

Since 1999, DEN has worked closely with heritage institutions as well as research groups, governmental organisations, branche organisations, creative industries and other institutions with a supporting role in the cultural domain. DEN’s knowledge is the knowledge of these institutions and vice versa. DEN leads the way and presents tools to heritage institutions for better ICT strategies and practices. From 2017 onward, DEN supports all institutions in the cultural domain, as digitisation is also having a big impact on the way culture is being produced by artists, performers and other cultural actors.

In the summary of the DEN policy plan 2017-2020 you can read more about DENs new focus on enhancing the national ICT infrastructure for cultural information.

DEN knowledge base

More information

DEN publishes relevant information (in Dutch) about standardisation and best practices regarding the digitisation of cultural heritage. The information is collected in a freely accessible, interconnected online knowledge base and focuses on four main subjects.

  1. The overview of ICT standards and guidelines provides up to date information about ICT standards used by Dutch heritage institutions, including links to important documentation, relevant institutions, and projects that make use of certain guidelines.
  2. Information about best practices and better practices by Dutch cultural heritage institutions is published in our project inventory. It is linked to our database with standards and guidelines in order to show the implementation of ICT standards in running projects. The project database is also used as a tool to monitor the development of a Dutch national Digital Heritage Collection.
  3. The inventory of cultural heritage institutions contains profiles with information about digitisation activities, involvement in projects, the implementation of standards and guidelines, and examples of digitisation plans.
  4. The subject files provide information about a wide variety of subjects such as copyright, digital preservation, business models, findability, 3D digitization and (web) statistics.


THE BASICS define a set of minimal requirements for digitisation activities within the context of the national infrastructure for digital heritage. Application of THE BASICS guarantees quality, interoperability, sustainability and efficiency during the entire digitisation life cycle. Read more about THE BASICS and how DEN compiled them in the English description of THE BASICS.

Currently, THE BASICS provides guidelines for the following topics:

National Digital Heritage Strategy and the Digital Heritage Network

The National Digital Heritage Strategy offers a perspective on developing a national, cross-sector infrastructure of digital heritage facilities. It contains objectives, starting points, and specific work programmes for a joint approach. The strategy was developed within the Digital Heritage Network. Dozens of professionals from the various sectors have contributed to this process by engaging in working groups, attending meetings, and reviewing texts.

Download the National Digital Heritage Strategy

Digital Heritage Network

The Digital Heritage Network (Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed or ´NDE’) is an open partnership that focuses on developing a system of national facilities and services for improving the visibility, usability, and sustainability of digital heritage. The network was established on the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science [Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap(‘OCW’) ]. The members of the NDE are large, national institutions that strive to professionally preserve and manage digital data (the National Library [Koninklijke Bibliotheek], The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision[Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid], the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency [Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed], and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences [Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie voor Wetenschappen], and the National Archive [Nationaal Archief]), the DEN Foundation [kenniscentrum DEN], the INNL portal, and a growing number of associations and individuals both within and outside the heritage sector.

International activities and publications

Read more about all international activities and publications (in English) of DEN.



T +31 (0)70 314 0343
F +31 (0)70 314 0100

The DEN Foundation
P.O. Box 90407
2509 LK The Hague
The Netherlands


Laatst gewijzigd: 08-06-2017

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