Academic heritage Erasmus University Rotterdam
What is EUR’s academic heritage?
The history of Erasmus University Rotterdam dates from 1913. The Netherlands School of Commerce (NHH) was founded in that year. More than one hundred years of academic practice and institutional history is recorded in many photographs, objects and documents. We consider all this material as our academic heritage. The heritage supports the memory of the institution and comprises building blocks with which the story of the university’s history and development can be told.
Erasmus University would like to share its historic material. This website takes you on a journey through our university’s history. You can find information here about our historic objects and documents. This includes the collection of portraits of leading professors and the sizeable collection of medals. The website will be expanded gradually with more information about the collections.
Everything achieved via scientific actions and saved for posterity is considered to be Erasmus University Rotterdam’s academic heritage. Our heritage comprises objects and documents arising from the practice of education and research at the university or that document and illustrate the history of the university and its predecessors. The heritage supports the memory of the institution and comprises building blocks with which the story of the university’s history and development can be told.
The majority of our academic heritage concerns objects and documents that document the history of the university and its predecessors. This includes many tens of thousands of photographs from all periods in history as well as portraits of professors, various printed material and the nib pen with which Queen Wilhelmina opened the Hogeschool’s first building in 1916.
Material originating directly from the practice of education and research is present to a lesser extent. Examples of this are the Monetary National Income Analogue Computer (MONIAC), special and other collections from the University Library (the scientific memory), as well as lecture notes by students and lecturers. Special collections include the archive and the library of Nobel Prize winner, Jan Tinbergen, and the economy-related commemorative medals from the Netherlands Economic Medal Cabinet (NEPK).
This historic material is in the care of the University Historic Gallery Foundation (SUHK) and the University Library. Objects and documents are also present in other institutions, including Rotterdam Museum and the City Archive (the university archive up to 1973, poster collection).
The history of Erasmus University Rotterdam dates from 1913. The Netherlands School of Commerce (NHH) was founded in that year; later continued as the Netherlands School of Economics (NEH). In 1973, the NEH merged with the Rotterdam Medical Faculty to form Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Website and database
Erasmus University would like to share its historic material. This website takes you on a journey through our university’s history. You can find information here about our historic objects and documents. This includes the collection of portraits of leading professors and the sizable collection of medals. The website will be expanded gradually with more information about the collections.
If you have objects or documents that concern the history of Erasmus University, please contact Roman Koot (Academic Heritage, Programme Manager).
Roman Koot, Academic Heritage Programme Manager
The Erasmus University portrait collection contains eighteen oil paintings, two pen drawings and a portrait in bronze. The paintings are displayed in the Erasmus Building by the landing adjacent to the Senaatszaal on the first floor and in the Boardroom (AB-49). Browse the collection
Netherlands Economic Medal Cabinet
The Netherlands Economic Medal Cabinet (NEPK) manages a collection of over 2,000 coins and medals that are connected, in the broadest sense, particularly to the economic life of our country. A number of coins and medals from the collection are on permanent display in the Erasmus Gallery in the Erasmus Building on Woudestein campus. More information and online catalogue
Jan Tinbergen Collection, Archives and Library
The scientific legacy of Jan Tinbergen can be considered as a cultural-historical collection that is absolutely unique to the Netherlands. The University Library started managing this following Tinbergen’s death. A showcase has been designed in the hall in front of the Erasmus Building aula, which includes the Nobel Prize from 1969. Read more about the Jan Tinbergen legacy. A section of the correspondence can be read online. Tinbergen received worldwide many honorary degrees; they are published with the accompanying credentials and adornments in the Tinbergen-database.
In order to get an impression of the subjects that were taught at the Nederlansche Handels-Hoogeschool and the Nederlandsche Economische Hogeschool, one should examine the small collection of lecture notes. The notebooks of four students that followed lectures between 1919 and 1943 have been preserverd and can now be consulted. An interesting addition to this small collection are the four notebooks of the economist Pieter Lieftinck containing the lectures given by him between 1934 and 1939.
The notebooks are not digitized but can be consulted at request in the public space of the library. More information and access to the collection
Art and culture map: art and academic heritage on campus
Visual arts have always taken an important place on Woudestein campus. A huge variety of works of art can be viewed in the buildings and grounds. The heritage is also clearly visible in the public spaces. An example is the MONIAC - (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer) in the Theil Building, developed by New Zealand economist, William Phillips in 1949. For him it was a way of clarifying macro-economic processes to his London School of Economics’ students. View the campus Woudestein Art and Culture Map.
The Randtriever studio is a reminder of the Randtriever, the book robot, which operated in the depository of the University Library between 1969 and 2014. By means of a computer-controlled system of conveyer belts, books were transported to and from the study area. The Randtriever was one of the most notable technical innovations in the Dutch library world. Read more
History Didactics Collection
The University Library manages the Historic Didactics Collection (HDC), a unique collection dedicated to history education in the Netherlands and Europe, which also includes a small number of publications originating from the rest of the world. The emphasis is on secondary education. More information about consulting the HDC