In the educational field, the Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum [National Museum of Education] administers Europe’s largest collection of educational material. It has some 250,000 items, among which 140,000 school books, slate pencils, inkpots, counting frames, school plates, maps, atlases, photographs, magic lanterns, school diaries, school desks and a tremendous assortment of educational tools.
When walking through the museum, visitors can view period classrooms and see how children attended school in the Netherlands starting as early as the year 1200. The museum’s permanent exhibition includes six classrooms illustrating how the old primary schools developed into today’s school. The museum also mounts temporary exhibitions on a regular basis.
The collection’s wide range of exhibits offers a great variety of subjects for research purposes, not only for historians, but also for students of teacher training colleges, industrial designers, students of medicine, architecture or photography and linguists. If they wish, the results of their research can be published on the website of the Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum as downloadable Master’s theses, dissertations or other doctoral research.
In the coming years,even more items from the collection will be available on the museum’s website. Filmstrip images are currently available on the site. Furthermore, you may browse through a number of digitized historical school books. An extensive gallery of school plates will soon be added to the online collection.