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Museum and Archive Updates

This has been a good week for the Collection. Thanks to a generous grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, we have been able to get our large collection of photographs professionally digitized, and on Monday the project was completed. The photos and their image files all came home.

Before travel became convenient and relatively fast, it was common to exchange photographs with colleagues, some of which can be seen over the Professor’s desk in the Beijerinck Museum. We have a number of such pictures, ranging from the famous (eg Winogradsky and Waxman) to staff, students and Beijerinck’s family, among other subjects. The photographs over the desk change, depending on who is coming to visit us. The collection also holds photographs of equipment, the labs at various dates, students and staff, as well as international visitors and microorganisms. Now that the photograph collection has been digitized, it will be catalogued in the University’s online catalogue.

None of this this would have been possible without the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, and we are very grateful to them.

On a sadder note, the building that the collection currently calls home has been sold, and we should be moving in the second half of next year. I will, of course, provide more details when I have them.

To end with something exciting, among recent donations to the collection was a set of exercise books found during a family house clearance. In these days of printed lecture notes, it is frustrating that such things did not exist in the late 19th/early 20th centuries so that we only know Beijerinck’s work from his publications. It was therefore very exciting to find that these books contained notes made by a student (the grandfather of the donor) during the Professor’s lectures. They were immediately scanned by a museum assistant, and then stored in our fire-proof safe. The current virus-related lockdown has given me time to look through them and I am very excited. The notes are not only beautifully illustrated and legibly handwritten, they are very detailed. At last we can find out what Professor Beijerinck told his students!

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