Museum Boerhaave, Leiden

The National Museum of the History of Science and Medicine Museum Boerhaave in Leiden was founded in 1928 on the initiative of the Leiden physicist Claude August Crommelin (1878-1965) and zoologist Cornelis Jakob van der Klaauw (1893-1972). In this way they hoped to preserve the large collection of historically important physical, astronomical, medical and other instruments that were scattered around in the various science departments of the Leiden University. In 1931 the museum was located in one of the smaller buildings belonging to the former Academic Hospital on the town walls, that now houses the Leiden Museum of Ethnography.

In the course of time the museum, which became a national museum in 1947, acquired a large collection of instruments relating to the history of science and medicine. Although the collection was initially based on donations by the various science departments of the Leiden University, other collections outside of Leiden and the university also found their way into the museum. In 1976 the museum adopted the name Museum Boerhaave in honour of the famous Leiden professor of medicine, chemistry and botany Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738).

The museum contains several notable collections relating to the history of science and medicine in the Netherlands, the collection of eighteenth-century physics demonstration apparatus known as the Leiden Cabinet of Physics, the telescope lenses of Christiaan and Constantijn Huygens and medical instruments collected by the Leiden professors of medicine. Since 1991 the museum has been housed at its present location in the former Caecilia Hospital, a converted convent of which the foundations were laid in the fifteenth century.

For Epact-related enquires, contact:

Dr Marian Fournier,
Museum Boerhaave,
2312 WC Leiden,
Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10,
2301 EG Leiden,
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 71 5214224
Fax: +31 71 5120344
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