History of the University of Amsterdam

The Allard Pierson is the museum and knowledge institute for the heritage collections of the University of Amsterdam.  A collection about the history of the university is naturally a major part of this.

The university history collections are the outcome of teaching, research and academic ritual at the University of Amsterdam (since 1877) and its predecessor, the Athenaeum Illustre (founded in 1632).   This collection started with the collection of portraits of famous men of letters – including Erasmus, Vondel, Vossius and Barlaeus – donated to the Athenaeum Illustre by Gerardus van Papenbroeck in 1743. A collection from Clio was added in 1916, a dispute for students of history.  This collection consists to an important extent of the speeches, orations and biographies of professors, student almanacs, portrait prints, topographic prints (approximately 300 in 1888), insignia and medals. This collection primarily concerns the history of the University of Amsterdam and the Athenaeum.  Over the years, this collection has been extended with photographs, archives, college instructions, instruments, teaching models, photographs, teaching slides etc.

The university history collections form a research source for the history of teaching, academic research and student life at the University van Amsterdam. Portraits of professors, busts and other university heritage can be seen at the faculties. The collections are also in regular use to promote the University of Amsterdam, in particular during important university anniversary celebrations.

Portrait of Otto Lanz, Jan Toorop, 1927

Collection Specialist

Drs. Esther Boeles

Email: e.boeles@uva.nl
Phone number: 020 525 35 76
UvA staff page: Esther Boeles