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History of the University Museum

A.G. Roos
Professor A.G. Roos

The University Museum was founded in 1932 by the then-Rector Magnificus Professor A.G. Roos, following the universities of Leiden and Utrecht. He requested and received donations and items from professors and alumni. The portraits, instruments, apparatus and documents were collected and deposited in the Corps de Garde, a building on the corner of Oude Boteringestraat and Lopende Diep.

It was in this building that the UniversityMuseum was opened in 1934, but it was forced to close due to the threatening circumstances of World War II, in 1944. After the war the museum moved to the attic of the Academic Building, where it reopened in 1949.

Detail of the stained glass window in the old University Library building
Detail of the stained glass window in the old University Library building

Later years

Since 1987 the museum has been housed in the old University Library building in the Zwanestraat. The collection spans a period of almost four centuries. There are new additions every year, especially collections of scientific instruments from laboratories and institutes. Apart from the museum collection, the museum is also responsible for the art objects in the Academic Building, like the professor portraits in the senate chambers.

Museum's Gallery
Museum's gallery

University collections

In 2003 the University Museum had the collection of the Anthropological Museum Gerardus van der Leeuw and the Anatomical Museum placed under its guardianship when both these (university) museums were closed.

After a period of reorganization, rebuilding and expansion, the renovated UniversityMuseum opened its doors to the public on 3 June 2004. The new pavilion with possibilities for receptions meant the entrance was shifted from Zwanestraat to Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat, which is also easier to find.

Last modified:09 July 2018 09.25 a.m.
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