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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


Museum Boerhaave


Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10, 2312 WC Leiden, The Netherlands Or Postbox 11280, 2301 EG Leiden, The Netherlands


+ 31 71 52 14 224

Fax Number

+ 31 71 51 20 344


Contact Person

Dr. G.A.C. Veeneman, Director


Access and Services

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-17:00; Sunday and public holidays, 12:00-17:00; closed on Mondays, January 1, October 3. Library open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:30; 13:30 to 17:00


The Museum Boerhaave is located in the center of Leiden, the seat of the oldest Dutch university. The galleries are arranged over two floors situated around a courtyard and lead the visitor through five centuries of science and medicine.



Museum Boerhaave Collections, 15th - 20th centuries

Collection ID


Biographical Note

The Museum Boerhaave is named after the professor of medicine, botany and chemistry Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), and housed in the former Caecilia Hospital. Here Boerhaave gave his famous bedside teaching that attracted medical students to Leiden from all parts of the world.

Collection Description

The museum collection includes items from over five centuries of science and medicine. Highlights include Leeuwenhoek's original microscopes, some of the earliest pendulum clocks as invented by Christiaan Huygens, a large set of 17th century surgical instruments (25 different instruments) made by one surgeon Cornelis Solingen, the original electrocardiography by Willem Einthoven and the artificial kidney of Willem Johan Kolff. There is also a life-size reconstruction of the old Anatomy Theatre with a grouping of real human and animal skeletons.

Collection items relating to the history of artificial organs include:

  • Kolff's artificial kidney machine

Finding Aid




Related Material

Possible related historical materials in library.