Today, the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden is internationally known for its outstanding archaeological collections. Yet its origins lie in an insignificant assortment of artefacts used for study by Leiden University. How did this transformation come about?
Ruurd Halbertsma has delved into the archives to show that the appointment of Caspar Reuvens as Professor of Archaeology in 1818 was the crucial turning point. He tells the dramatic story of Reuvens' struggle to establish the museum, with battles against rival scholars, red tape and the Dutch attitude of neglect towards archaeological monuments. This book throws new light on the process of creating a national museum, and the difficulties of convincing society of the value of the past.

chapter |5 pages


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chapter |15 pages

Early Collections of Classical Art in the Netherlands

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
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chapter |18 pages

Collections and Conflicts

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chapter |22 pages

The Greek Collections of B.E.A. Rottiers

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chapter |18 pages

Jean Emile Humbert

The quest for Carthage
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chapter |23 pages

Station Livorno

The Etruscan and Egyptian collections
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chapter |16 pages

Forum Hadriani

Digging behind the dunes
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chapter |13 pages

The Ideal Museum

Dreams and reality
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chapter |12 pages

End of the Pioneer Years 1835–40

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