The Dutch in Chinsurah

A multi-disciplinary project focussing on creating a digital archive for shared cultural heritage of the erstwhile Dutch colony of Chinsurah in West Bengal

The first of its kind in India, this project is aimed at documenting the shared cultural heritage of the Dutch in Chinsurah. Funded by the Embassy of Netherlands in India, the project is a partnership between Aishwarya Tipnis Architects (ATA), New Delhi and Presidency University, Kolkata.The project has concentrated on five aspects, Documentation & Mapping of the Tangible & Intangible Heritage, Developing a Historical Timeline, Developing an archive of oral history, Development of comprehensive database of the Dutch Cemetery as an electronic resource and Engagement and Community Development for dissemination of the Dutch Heritage in Chinsurah. Aishwarya Tipnis Architects (ATA) have been responsible for Cultural Mapping, Oral History, Timeline, Engagement & Community Development.Presidency University has spearheaded the development of the database of the Dutch Cemetery in Bengal as an electronic resource that can be accessed over the Internet as well as supervised, Research for Oral History, Timeline & Technical Development of Project Website including GIS.The multi-disciplinary team comprising of academics, professionals, community volunteers and students have mapped out this tangible and intangible shared cultural heritage within the erstwhile colony of Chinsurah. The project team at ATA has been led by Aishwarya Tipnis, supported by Dr Oeendrila Lahiri for historic research and Payal Wadhwa, Inspire Conspire Retire(ICR) as the Interpretation Planner & Cultural Strategist. The team at Presidency University has been led under the supervision of Dr Souvik Mukherjee, Department of English & Mr Milinda Banerjee, Department of History.

The project aims to form a base for further work on the “integrated development” of Chinsurah, wherein the goals of urban heritage conservation would be integrated into planning the economic, cultural and social development of the town.