The canon of the history of the Dutch landscape - a tool for raising geo-awareness

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author van den Ancker, Johanna; Pieter Dirk, Jungerius
Holding Date 09 September 2008

On 3 July 2007 a committee of historians published the Canon of the Netherlands. Eye-catcher is a time-line with 50 windows. Each window is symbolized by a small drawing representing an important event in Dutch history. In a leaflet and on a website each window has a short story to it, explaining its role in history. The windows are grouped into themes, main factors that determined Dutch history.
The product was produced as a manifesto, an action asking the ministry for education, OCW - Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap - to improve on history education in secondary schools. The items selected are considered relevant as a national heritage, all citizens should know about. The canon was made as "something open, not like a mausoleum, but a dynamic tool to inspire teachers and bring history alive".
The idea of the canon appealed to the public. It gave rise too other canons, serious and more playful ones. Several books, including children books, and many articles have been published since explaining on windows of the idea behind the historical canon.
Although some of us rejected the idea as a hype, Geoheritage NL decided to also publish a canon: a Canon of the History of the Dutch Landscape, in which focus is on the history of the landscape as perceived by earth scientists and what remained of the human influences over the centuries.
A special working group was formed to prepare the canon. In selecting windows and themes we closely followed the successful formula of the canon of the historicians. During the Oslo conference we will explain the canon itself, details of selecting windows and themes, the members, as well as differences with the historical canon.
We expect the Canon of the Dutch Landscape to be a useful tool to promote geoheritage awareness and improve landscape consciousness. A tool that can easily be copied by other countries. Then we could consider making a Canon of the European Landscape, which should involve members of all organisations active in this field such ECSSS, EFG, ESSC, EGN, IAG and ProGEO.