European Heritage Network (Herein)

Strasbourg, 26 June 2003

At the Council of Europe's 4th Conference of Ministers responsible for the Cultural Heritage  (Helsinki, 1996) it was decided to “consider setting up a permanent information system to keep authorities, professionals, researchers and training specialists in touch with heritage developments in other countries”.

It is on that basis that the European Heritage Network (Herein) has been developed since 1998 at the instigation of the Council of Europe and with the support of the European Commission and a large number of partners throughout Europe.  The Herein network now brings together some thirty European countries and has endowed itself with an information system facilitating application of the European conventions on the architectural and archaeological heritage and pooling of information and good practices in this field.

The Herein network is made up of ministries or government agencies in charge of heritage conservation.  Their co-operation, via a number of shared resources, has made it possible to establish an information system unique in Europe, accessible free of charge on the web-site, including:

-          A comparative databank on the national cultural heritage policies of the network's member states.  The information gathered concerns the various aspects of heritage policy: identification, inventories, protection, conservation, funding, integrated conservation strategies with a view to sustainable development, dissemination and awareness-raising, innovation centres and digitisation of cultural assets, as well as a section on the global heritage (the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in Europe).

-          A multilingual thesaurus (Bulgarian, English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian and Spanish) on cultural heritage policies, intended to help web-site users when surfing through the national reports made available on line.  This terminological tool allows users to gain a better grasp of the concepts they come across when reading through reports and thereby broaden or refine their knowledge of the subject concerned.

-          A selection of links offfering access to Internet resources in the heritage field in Europe classified by country, theme and type.

-          A Heritage Discovery chapter, which hosts virtual exhibitions intended to illustrate Europe's cultural diversity through discovery of its common heritage (see ).

-          Professional discussion forums on specific heritage-related themes.

Information is published on the site in a number of languages and is regularly updated by a network of officially appointed national correspondents in each of the Herein network's member states.

It is the wish of the Council of Europe and the network's partners that all heritage operators should be able to benefit from this information resource, which is intended to be a standard-setting international site and a forum for debate between the public, private and voluntary sectors so as to encourage and facilitate the launch of projects and partnerships.

We should be extremely grateful if you could answer the attached brief questionnaire and return it to

With many thanks for your kind co-operation, I remain

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Thérond

Head of Cultural Heritage Division

Secretariat of the European Heritage Network


Should you require any further information please contact

Nicolas Dautier

C/o Council of Europe

Co-ordination of the Herein Consortium

Cultural Heritage Division

67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Tel: +33 (0)

Fax: + 33 (0)