Cities and citizens writing history and shaping the future

This project examined the ways in which digital media were used by the city of Maastricht in its cultural heritage policy. In mid-2002, following a cultural policy for the years 2002–2010 in which a more active engagement with local cultural heritage was advocated, the Dutch city of Maastricht commissioned an Amsterdam-based consulting agency to develop a guiding vision for the management of its cultural heritage. The notion of ‘cultural biography’ was adopted to conceptualize the city of Maastricht as a city of multiple identities shifting over time. At this early stage, the development of a digital heritage infrastructure was occasionally mentioned, but always as one element within a much wider-ranging attempt to rethink the presentation and use of cultural heritage in Maastricht. Over the next couple of years, however, it was precisely the development of the digital infrastructure that became the main concern for those involved in the project organization dedicated to the Cultural Biography of Maastricht. Drawing on primary documents and interviews with key actors, this research explored the ways in which digital technologies were used to mobilise different social actors, with more or less success, and how they become entangled in debates and disagreements about who could speak about Maastricht’s history.

Project internally funded (2008-2011)
Bas van Heur, Pieter Caljé, Charles van den Heuvel, Jack Post and Sally Wyatt

Related publications

Beaulieu, A., Rijcke, & Heur, B. van (2013) Authority and expertise in new sites of knowledge production, in P Wouters et al. (eds) Virtual Knowledge, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (pp.25-56).

Heur, B. van (2010). From Analogue to Digital and Back Again: Institutional Dynamics of Heritage Innovation, International Journal of Heritage Studies 16(6), 403-414.

Heur, B. van (2010). The Built Environment of Higher Education and Research: Architecture and the Expectation of Innovation, Geography Compass 4(12), 1713-1724.