The Museum Boerhaave

The Scientific Instrument Society is appealing to members and others to contribute donations for the support of the Boerhaave. We have added a link to the  SIS Pay Pal account which will enable members to make an easy donation to this appeal. Contributions may be made by debit or credit card or PayPal for those with an account by clicking on the Donation link above.

I am sure that many members of SIS will have seen the announcements about the Boerhaave. Due to a threatened withdrawal of funds by the Netherlands Government the entire Museum is at risk of closure.

The Boerhaave is an iconic museum for anyone interested in the history of scientific instruments. There are only a handful of major museums devoted to the history of science in the entire world and the Boerhaave is certainly one of them. The SIS has visited it on more than one occasion, the last being as recently as the 2008 study tour. The catalogues issued by the Boerhaave are very important sources of information for our subject. Last but by no means least the alumni of the Boerhaave play an important role in the academic study of instruments throughout the world. The loss of this wonderful resource would be a body blow to our interests. To avoid closure under the present proposals the Museum needs to raise around a million euros.

We at the SIS Committee feel that it is in our own interests to support this. To this end we are opening an appeal for donations to support the Museum. I ask you all to give generously.

Below we show a statement from Hans Hooijmaijers on Rete which explains their problem: 

“News travels fast, so hereby the latest news about Boorhaave. It is true that at this moment Museum Boorhaave is threatened in its existence. Last Friday the Minister presented his budget cuts for the cultural field. Here are some of the details. The museums sponsored directly by the Dutch government (30 in total) will be completely rearranged in the years 2013-2016. To take part in this rearrangement museums had to earn 17,5% of the yearly state budget externally in 2012. However the Minister of Cultural Affairs turned this to the period 2010-2011. And that’s where it hurts for Boorhaave. Although we are in growing process to reach the 17,5% in 2012, we haven’t reached that amount yet. The government informed us that in the case we do not reach this goal, the museum will be closing next year. They now present it as a ‘sleeping beauty’, but what that means is still blurry. At the moment we are doing politics in urging the parliament to change the year back to 2012, but we are just one tiny budget cut in the overwhelming total of 18,000,000,000 euros, our government wants to cut, so I have not much confidence in a change of date.

So, to be on the safe side, it means that Boorhaave has to earn an extra external amount of money of circa 1,000,000 euros this year. The amount is so high, as we have to cover not only 2011, but to make up for 2010 as well in one year time. Furthermore the 17,5% also applies for the rent for the museum building and storage, which is about half the money we receive (and the buildings belong to the state!).”

Thank you for your support.

Patrick Mill


Last Updated on Tuesday 6 September 2011, 6:43pm
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