Friday 2 July 2010

Persmuseum (Amsterdam) - en: Press Museum

[Post published by Liviu on Liviu's [in Netherlands] Blog]

24th of June: a sunny and quite hot day. This visit wasn't planned, but since De Key's stupid-scheduled windows painting operation continued, therefore disturbing me, I had no choice but leave the room.

Persmuseum (Amsterdam) - en: Press Museum
Admission: free for Museumkaart holders. Feel free to check the detailed price list.
There are lockers at the entrance, of course.
Photos are allowed, of course, but no flash.

The museum overall is very small - technically it's one huge room, partitioned with respect to the various things to be presented.

My opinion on the permanent collection of Persmuseum

The explanations on the walls are written in Dutch only. However, when you buy the ticket the lady will hand you a printed English version, which you shall return on leave.

Although the exhibited permanent collection is extremely small, the history of Dutch press is very well explained. They mainly talk about 3 main figures:
  1. Abraham Casteleyn [see a picture of him at wikimedia] and his newspaper Opregte Haarlemsche Courant
    Did you know that the Dutch newspaper Opregte Haarlemsche Courant was also shipped to other major cities? Do you know how long it took to get there? London (9 days), Paris (8 days), Stockholm (24 days), Moscow (40 days) and even Constantinople (82 days - probably in South East Europe roads were bad even at that time). Pretty cool!
  2. Pieter 't Hoen and De Post van den Neder-Rhyn
  3. Hak Holdert [nl.wikipedia] and De Telegraaf [nl.wikipedia; en.wikipedia]
Again, Haarlem proves itself to be really cool :) It appears to me that the Haarlem-Amsterdam area used to be some sort of Silicon Valley during the Dutch Golden Age :)

Another interesting thing is that newspaper owners used to pay for classified (i.e. secret) politics information just to have it in their newspapers and local administration used to support them. Why? Being the one printing it showed the power of your region :D By protection I mean that the central authorities (i.e. the kingdom organization) had little authority over local authorities (i.e. the provinces and cities), therefore the latter could disobey the central authorities...

I was the only visitor for the whole 2+ hours I've spent in the museum :)

My opinion on the temporary exhibition/collection: Nederland volgens Sigmund
[Time interval for this temporary exhibition: 20th of May - 26th of September 2010)]

All cartoons were only in Dutch, unfortunately.
I understood the point of some cartoons, but just a few of them.
However, given the drawing style and jokes template (as I have speculated it to be), I think a native Dutch would find it very entertaining.

Other things worth mentioning

The online collection presents a couple of things about Romania, too - Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea Papers and Eugen Relgis Papers. Obviously, these are not exhibited in the permanent collection of the museum.

View Netherlands (by Liviu) in a larger map


Persmuseum is a nice & interesting museum. For one passionate about press, politics & economics & human self-organization would be a good choice. However, most people might get bored on these matters, therefore it's up to you to decide whether to visit it or not.

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