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Publication and exhibition: VU Objects and their Stories

10 August 2021
In the academic year 2020-2021, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam celebrated its 140th anniversary with the ‘Kuyper Year’. The online exhibition ‘VU Objects and their stories’ was visible during the year. Today, this exhibition can also be seen in its physical form, in the heritage showcase next to the entrance of the University Library in the VU Main Building. On 6 September, a book accompanying the exhibition is to be published: VU Objects and their Stories: 140 years of Heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

During the Kuyper Year, events, lectures, books and exhibitions drew attention to the enduring significance of the most important VU founder, Abraham Kuyper. Also, the broader history of the VU was discussed. The idea behind the exhibition is to use the broadness of the VU Amsterdam’s physical heritage in order to present a kaleidoscopic image of its history.

For each five years in the university’s history, we have selected an object from its heritage collections that is characteristic of this period, either because it originates from this era or because it is associated with an important contemporary event. Various guest authors reflect on the significance the object holds today. Thus, heritage is made to serve as a bridge between the past and the present, creating an opportunity for reflection on how to relate to this past.

The exhibition shows a selection of objects and quotes from the online columns that have been published on GeheugenvandeVU.nl since September 2020. Now there's also a book, published by Clue+: Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage of the VU. It is richly illustrated and contains especially edited versions of all stories from the exhibition, plus an introduction. The exhibition and the book were both compiled by University Historian Ab Flipse and Curator of Academic Heritage, Liselotte Neervoort. We thank all guest authors and the following organisations: Steering Committee Kuyper Year, VUvereniging, Stichting Dr Abraham Kuyperfonds; CLUE+ and VU Heritage & Collections.

The book can be read digitally via this link. If you are a VU staff member or student and interested in a physical copy of the book, please contact Liselotte Neervoort of the University Library. The book is for sale to other interested parties. The price is € 20.00 incl. shipping and administration costs. You can order by sending an e-mail with address details to Ab Flipse and payment by transferring the amount due to the bank account NL68 INGB 0006 8454 44, Stichting Batavia Academica in Amsterdam, citing 'VU objects and their stories'.

Information Book

VU Objects and their Stories: 140 Years of Heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(Amsterdam: Clue+, 2021)
Authors: Ab Flipse, Liselotte Neervoort, guest authors.
ISBN: 978-90-831368-2-0   118 pages