In memoriam: Albert van der Zeijden (1957-2021)

Photo courtesy of Kenniscentrum Immaterieel Erfgoed, Nederland.

We are deeply affected by the death of our highly esteemed colleague and member of the Odeuropa Advisory Board Albert van der Zeijden. Albert passed away suddenly at 30 July 2021.

He took part in the Odeuropa project due to his excellent expertise in the field of intangible cultural heritage and its policies.

Trained as a historian, Albert worked for almost 35 years in the field of intangible cultural heritage and everyday culture. In 2002 he obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam on Catholic identity and historical awareness. W.J.F. Nuyens (1823-1894) and his ‘national’ historiography (Hilversum 2002).

In recent years, he was head of the department Research and Development at the Dutch Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage, that is responsible for the implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands. Albert’s research focus was on ICH & sustainable tourism, ICH & (super)diversity, transnational ICH, inventorying mechanisms and ICH policies. Next to his work at the Centre, he was also working as a Research Fellow Heritage Studies at Utrecht University.

Albert was always enthusiast to cooperate and he built a large national and international network. He was active within the ICH-NGO Forum of UNESCO and was the coordinator of the Research Working Group. Since 2013, he was a member of the editorial board of the international internet magazine Heritage Alive, Voices and Practices, which is affiliated with the ICH-NGO Forum. Between 2014 and 2015 he was a member of the Evaluation Body of the Convention.

Albert was also a passionate editorial board member of the Flemish-Dutch journal Volkskunde for almost twenty years.

He has published dozens of articles and reviews and edited special issues and volumes.

We will miss Albert as an enthusiast and inspiring colleague.

Text written by Sophie Elpers.