Nederlands Genootschap voor Microscopie

Friday 23rd to Monday 26th September 2016

The Club’s previous visits to the Netherlands were in 1998 and 2001, so this meeting with the Nederlands Genootschap voor Microscopie and the Koninklijk Antwerps Genootschap voor Micrografie was long overdue.

We met – In Delft. At the Museumhotel, adjacent to the Cathedral with the main square and coffee shops nearby. Leeuwenhoek is supposed to have lived just along one of the adjacent canals and a plaque commemorates him.

Members on a bridgeRob van Es, Nigel Williams, Fleur White, Pam H., Phil Greaves, John Tolliday, Terry Hope, Hans Loncke and Wim van Egmond [by Nigel Williams]

Canal and cathedral at nightCanal and cathedral at night [by Pam H.]

We collected – After a minibus ride we met our Dutch and Belgian colleagues at the site of a huge dam in Zeeland called the DeltWorks. It was a fine day for collecting marine specimens in the shallow water and from a jetty.

Collecting specimensCollecting specimens [by Pam H.]

Collecting on rocksCollecting on rocks [by Pam H.]

Collecting on a dockCollecting on a jetty [by Pam H.]

Wim van Egmond and Terry HopeWim van Egmond and Terry Hope [by Nigel Williams]

We examined – In a room above the aquarium. Lots of microscopes and fruitful discussions on identifying specimens.

Examining specimensExamining specimens [by Pam H.]

Examining specimensExamining specimens [by Rob van Es]

Members and their microscopesMembers and their microscopes [by Nigel Williams]

Phil Greaves and Nigel Williams taking a photographPhil Greaves and Nigel Williams taking a photograph [by Rob van Es]

Terry Hope with his trinocular microscopeTerry Hope with his trinocular microscope [by Rob van Es]

We visited – the main dam where a guide from the visitor centre explained the construction techniques.

Dam mechanismDam mechanism [by Pam H.]

We were educated and intrigued – At Delft University of Technology where Lesley Robertson is working on the archives of the Microbiology Department, particularly those relating to Professor Beijerinck, a Dutch microbiologist and botanist, in the Beijerinck Museum.

Lesley is making a study of the Leeuwenhoek microscopes, contributing to books and articles on the subject. Hans Loncke, one of the members of the Dutch club who accompanied us, makes replica Leeuwenhoek microscopes. The archives had just been moved to this new venue where there was a treasure trove of books, charts, microscopes, accessories and slides. Some microscopes and accessories had been set out for us but we were welcome to wander around and look at anything which appeared interesting. This was a real treasure trove and the visit ended all too soon.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek: Master of the Minuscule by Lesley Robertson, Jantien Backer, Claud Biemans, Joop van Doorn, Klaas Krab, Willem Reijnders, Henk Smit & Peter Willemsen (2016); ISBN: 9789004304284 (Hardback) or 9789004304307 (E-book), XVIII + 229 pp., Brill (Review in Micscape)

Members with old microscopesMembers with old microscopes [by Rob van Es]

Abbe’s apertometer, by Carl Zeiss JenaAbbe’s apertometer, by Carl Zeiss Jena [by Pam H.]

Museum exhibitMuseum exhibit [by Pam H.]

Museum exhibitMuseum exhibit [by Pam H.]

Lenses to be identifiedAttachments for a Cooke, Troughton & Simms interference microscope [by Pam H.]

Hartnack eyepieceHartnack eyepiece [by Pam H.]

View through Hartnack eyepieceView through Hartnack eyepiece [by Pam H.]

Collection of fibresCollection of fibres [by Pam H.]

Nigel Williams admiring a drawingNigel Williams admiring a drawing [by Rob van Es]

Fleur White and John Tolliday with an old drawingFleur White and John Tolliday with an old drawing [by Rob van Es]

Fleur White taking notesFleur White taking notes [by Rob van Es]

This was a fascinating two days, and we enjoyed meeting our Dutch colleagues and exploring both recent specimens and antique items with them. A reciprocal meeting is being organised in the UK, Friday 28th to Monday 31st July 2017 at Malham Tarn Field Centre in Yorkshire.

Report by Pam H., photographs by Nigel Williams, Pam H. and Rob van Es

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