About us

The Allard Pierson collects, manages, researches and puts on display precious and important cultural heritage from antiquity to today.

The Allard Pierson collects, manages, researches and puts on display precious and important cultural heritage from antiquity to today. We make this material available to everybody, in the service of science and society, for the purpose of education and inspiration. We do this as part of the University of Amsterdam, from the heart of the historical city.

We illuminate the past from various perspectives while keeping our finger on the pulse of today’s world. With collections that are available to everybody, and supported by the knowledge and expertise of committed staff, researchers, artists and visitors, we offer pluralistic visions of the future. We also work with local, national and international partners in the social and cultural domains. Our core values are connection, transparency, deepening, quality and innovation.

Admired as ‘probably the most well-rounded thinker of the nineteenth century, Allard Pierson stands for cultural history in the broadest sense, sharing knowledge inside and outside the university, and reflecting on the past as a way of understanding the present. But who was Allard Pierson?

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The building at Oude Turfmarkt 127 was originally constructed as the headquarters of De Nederlandsche Bank, the central bank of the Netherlands. Various details recall its past. For example, rails for trolleys full of money still run from the quay into the entrance hall.

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The vibrant Oude Turfmarkt with the main entrance to De Nederlandsche Bank, shortly after 1901.

View the various departments of the Allard Pierson and the people who work there.


Allard Pierson Foundation

The current Allard Pierson exists thanks to the collections of the University of Amsterdam. These collections have been compiled by librarians over centuries. The foundations for the university library were laid in 1578, after the Alteratie, when books and manuscripts belonging to Catholic institutions in Amsterdam were brought together to form a library open to everybody. The first ‘public library’ for Amsterdammers themselves.

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Gerardus Johannes Vossius (1577-1649), een van de twee eerste hoogleraren aan het Athenaeum Illustre.

Since  2019, we have been working hard to refurbish the Allard Pierson. New space has been made available with the addition of four floors on the Turfdraagsterpad side for the permanent museum exhibition From the Nile to the Amstel. On the first floor, we opened the museum shop, the espresso bar and the new Allard Pierson Live. The reading room has been given additional space and the museum café is being refurbished.

Register here for the newsletter. For further information on the renovations in the University Quarter, click here.


Impression of the interior by Atelier Pro Architects


Looking for a historical venue in the heart of Amsterdam? Take a look at what we have to offer here. For more information, phone us on 020-525 37 70 or email us at booking@allardpierson.nl.

We would be delighted to welcome you at the Allard Pierson!

Hiring a hall

Museums, libraries and comparable institutions can apply to the Allard Pierson for artefacts for exhibition.

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As supervisor and custodian of the historical, art and academic collections of the University of Amsterdam, the Allard Pierson is responsible for many thousands of objects.

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