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The first objects in the Teylers Museum collection were collected by Pieter Teyler around 1750. Of these, coins, medals and medallions in particular have been preserved. Following Teyler’s death, the directors of the Teylers Foundation actively continued to collect. They focused especially on Western European drawings and paintings, instruments, fossils and minerals, and books. This is how the sub-collections of Art, Science and the Library came into being.


Teylers Museum has divided the collection into Art and Science. Each sub-collection contains objects museum staff call ‘highlights’. For example, because an object is unique in the world, because it represents a development in the history of science, or was made by a famous artist. Admire our Highlights at the museum or study them in detail in the collection database.

Some of our highlights are kept in storage. Drawings in particular are very fragile. If they are kept in brightly lit surroundings for too long, the paper discolours and the image fades. In the First Picture Gallery, large boxes with modern copies of the drawings are available to visitors. Anyone can take them out and view them.

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Spaarne 16, 2011 CH Haarlem

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