In 2014, former Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker launched the Digital Heritage Network. According to Bussemaker, digitisation offers a new perspective on the distribution and accessibility of culture. The Digital Heritage Networkis meant to strengthen the cooperation between different heritage sectors regarding the digitisation of collections and archives. In March 2015, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science presented the National Digital Heritage Strategy together with the Digital Heritage Network.
Bussemaker followed the advice of the Council for Culture to have sector-wide support for the digitisation function in the national basic infrastructure for culture. In 2017, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science therefore assigned DEN, formerly known as Digital Heritage Netherlands, to broaden their scope. Since then, DEN functions as the national knowledge institute for digitalisation in the cultural sector. Together with Dutch art institutions and other stakeholders, DEN is currently developing knowledge and methods on how digital technology can support art institutions in terms of artistic creation process, education, public outreach and heritage. The knowledge and experience gained with digitisation in the heritage sector is used as an important reference.
In her 2018 policy letter Culture in an open society, the current Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Van Engelshoven, stresses the importance of the accessibility of culture. Therefore, the digital accessibility of heritage, archives and collections is supported with extra investments (EUR 12 million for 2019 and 2020). The focus in government policy shifted from the digitisation of content to stimulating the use and re-use of digital content by citizens. This resulted, among others things, in extra attention for the use of digital heritage content for primary and secondary schools, and in funding possibilities for heritage institutions to stimulate access and re-use of their collection. The Digital Heritage Network is coordinating an extensive programme within the network of Dutch heritage institutions to support this focus in line with the principles of the National Strategy Digital Heritage.
In 2018, a second version of the DERA (Digital Heritage Reference Architecture) was published: DERA 2.0. The DERA is a set of digital architectural principles to optimise the digital information process within the cultural domain, which is also one of the principles of the National Strategy Digital Heritage. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science owns the DERA and the Digital Heritage Network coordinates the use of the DERA.
Research by DEN shows that museums, archives, libraries and other heritage institutions digitised 35 percent of their collections in 2017, while 46 percent still needs to be digitised. Of their metadata (or catalogue data), 74 percent is digitised and 58 percent is accessible online. In total, 43 percent of all metadata and 13 percent of all heritage objects are available online. In the EU, these numbers are lower: 30 percent of all metadata and 8 percent of all heritage objects are available online for a broad audience.
A major project aimed at improving the digital accessibility of culture was Images for the Future. From 2007 onwards, a total of 91 183 hours of video, 22 086 hours of film, 98 734 hours of audio and 2.5 million photos from the audiovisual sector was restored, preserved, digitised and distributed through various services. The project was completed in late 2014.
In 2016, the EYE Film Museum was granted EUR 800 000 for the digitisation of film heritage and the management and accessibility of digital heritage. From 2017 onwards, EYE receives EUR 1 million annually for digital film heritage.
The new Libraries Act (Wet stelsel openbare bibliotheken, Wsob) that was implemented in January
2015 introduced the creation of a national digital library in order to make
knowledge and information more accessible (see chapter 4.2.5). In October 2018,
the current Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Van Engelshoven,
concluded a covenant with publishers, authors, translators and libraries on
loaning e-books at public libraries, which includes the introduction of more
titles. The budget for the implementation of the covenant will rise to EUR 3
million in 2021.
 The founders are large, national institutions (the National Library, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency, the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Archive) that strive to professionally preserve and manage digital data. Heritage organisations and portals (theme based, region based and domain based) are encouraged to take part in the network.