Erasmus, the university and Rotterdam are connected. How and why?

Now on display, in the Erasmus exhibition in the University Library.
Vitrine exposition Erasmus

In this exhibition you can see various special objects, original and replica, by and about Erasmus. On the basis of four themes, you will be taken into the life of Erasmus and discover how the university and the city relate to him over the centuries.


Opening Erasmus exhibition in the University Library
Arie Kers

With the Man Erasmus you learn more about who he was and about his views through his work, for example handwritten letters. The Myth deals with the image of Erasmus, in his own time and after his death, and the changing reception of his ideas and worldview. This can be seen in a cartoon of the Groene Amsterdammer and various biographies. The Legend is about the inextricable connection between Erasmus and the city of Rotterdam. This close connection is special, because despite the fact that Erasmus only lived in Rotterdam for a few years, 'the city breathes Erasmus in different ways'. About the connection between Erasmus and the university, we see various objects in the fourth theme, the University. For example, professors who have dealt with Erasmus in the history of the university are highlighted here.

EUR motto on Erasmus building
Erasmus University Rotterdam - Alexander Santos Lima

This is an excellent time to visit the exhibition and learn more about the legendary humanist. In a period of Erasmus Week (with Erasmus' birthday on 28 October), the fiftieth anniversary of the university as Erasmus University and the 110th anniversary of the university.

Prof. dr. Ronald van Raak, Professor of Erasmian Values (ERRC) spoke during the opening of the exhibition about the significance of Erasmus today, for the university and its students and staff. In this way, the exhibition also invites us to reflect and keep the discussion going about what the Erasmian values can mean for everyone.

Opening Erasmus exhibition in the University Library
Arie Kers

The exhibition is composed of various objects from the collections of the University Library, the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet and the Erasmus Collection in the Rotterdam Library. The Erasmus Collection has recently been registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World because of its unique collection of books by and about Erasmus.

In terms of content, the exhibition was designed by Drs. Sanne Steen (PhD student Erasmus Imaging in Rotterdam at the Faculty of ESPhil), Dr. John Tholen (curator Heritage Collections Library Rotterdam) and Drs. Roman Koot (curator Special Collections University Library). The exhibition is (partly) made possible by the Erasmus Committee and the EUR Lustrum.

The exhibition can be visited until 24 January 2024, on the 1st floor (next to the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet) during the opening hours of the library.

Would you like to see or hear more about Erasmus? This is possible:

  • In the Erasmus Gallery, Erasmus Building on Campus Woudestein, with an exhibition of medals with the image of Erasmus, curated by Dr. Herman Gerritsen of the NEPK (Nederlands Economisch PenningKabinet).
  • Online with other interesting objects.
More information

Would you like to know more or do you have comments, suggestions etc. as a result of your visit to the exhibition? Please contact us via the form or email to or  

Visiting address University Library
Campus Woudestein, EUR
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA  Rotterdam

Related links
Erasmian Values
Stichting Erasmushuis - Rotterdam
Erasmusweek - Bibliotheek Rotterdam

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