Participating organizations


The SBS research program has been made possible by a major grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Together with scientists, (inter)national organizations and companies, NWO funds and develops top quality research programs. SBS is part of the ‘Cultural Dynamics’ program of NWO. This is a multidisciplinary research program into the dynamic role of cultural heritage and the interaction between culture and society in both the past and the present.

History Department, VU University Amsterdam / CLUE

The SBS program belongs to the research cluster 'Museums, Heritage and Media' of VU’s interdisciplinary Research Institute CLUE. The SBS program is primarily directed by historians working for the History Department of the Faculty of Arts at VU University. This department focuses on the key concepts of attribution of meaning, the formation of power, and globalization. Project directors prof. dr. Susan Legêne and prof. dr. Henk Schulte Nordholt and various other researchers involved in this project work for this department. The SBS program fits in the research profile of the department, with an emphasis on international comperative research and a broad availabilty of knowledge in the fields of Dutch and European history and East and Southeast Asia.

Archaeological and History Department, UGM, Yogyakarta

The Gadjah Mada University (Indonesian: Universitas Gadjah Mada or UGM) in Yogyakarta is one of the largest national universities in Indonesia. Program director prof. dr. Bambang Purwanto and various researchers contributing to the SBS Research program work at this university. The archeological fieldwork in the SBS program is conducted in collaboration with post-graduate students from the Archaeological and History Department of Gadjah Mada University.

The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology

The Eijkman Institute is a renewed non-profit government funded research institute conducting basic research in medical molecular biology and biotechnology. The Institute has contributed to the SBS research project by carrying out DNA research. An expert meeting was convened in May 2007 to discuss the future of a collection of remains of presumably Japanese soldiers found in Biak (Dutch New Guinea/Papua World War II). The Tropenmuseum, through KITLV, contacted the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology in Indonesia to attend this expert meeting to discuss the possibility of conducting DNA research on the presumed Japanese remains. The Eijkman Institute expressed its interest to also study pathogen DNA of the remains from a community cemetery in Surabaya. However it was acknowledged that this scientific collaboration bore heavy medico-legal and ethical issues.

The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies is co-applicant of the SBS program. This organization in the Netherlands focuses on historical studies of the Second World War. The institute was founded as a merge of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Various researchers working on the SBS program are connected to the NIOD. Dr. Martijn Eickhoff works as a senior researcher at NIOD and dr. Sri Margana has been a research fellow at this institute, to adapt his PhD thesis to the framework of the Sites Bodies and Stories research project.


KITLV initiates and coordinates innovative research on the Caribbean and Indonesia. It engages in research that is theoretically informed, comparative, and empirically strong. Research on both regions focuses on contemporary socio-political developments, as well as on historical themes. Various researchers working at the SBS project are working for KITLV. The organization also acted as a mediator in the collaboration with the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology in Indonesia (see above: Eijkman Institute).