Computer Museum Amsterdam
You may find first computers in collections of all science and technology museums, but here is one of the few museums dedicated exclusively to the computers. Established in 1991 at the University of Amsterdam, this small museum is run by a group of computer enthusiasts led by the retired academic Edo H. Dooijers.
The Computer Museum in Amsterdam has just one exhibit room, where it shows only a small part, just 1% of its large collection. Its large depot remains at another location. Nevertheless, what you may see is impressive - from Friden Flexowriter, which was one of the first printers and punchers on which programmers still in the 1970’s would punch their programs and transport the information on the punched paper tape to one of the first minicomputers. One of the first minicomputers pruduced by Digital Equipment Corporation – the historical PDP-8 (1965). Above them, on the shelves reaching the ceiling, you will be able to see the analogue computer from 1970’s, one of the first personal computers from 1976, the beautifully designed Dutch Holborn (born in Holland) computer from the early 1980’s, Apple Lisa (1983) with archaic today two 5.25-inch floppy drives, the first Mac (1984) and the IBM AT computer, which for many years designed the way the personal computers were built. The museum presents several more machines as well as their elements such as different historical forms of computer memory, which allowed the computer progress.
The museum additionally serves, as a technical backup for Amsterdam University – when there is some old data written on old type disk, in a strange format coming from an old computer - one of the museum’s computers is often able to read it.
At first - a big room crammed with old computer hardware. It is only when Mr. Dooijes begins its tour, that you realize to what extend it is all logical - step by step the history of computing, from analogue to digital, development of the means of storing data, development of the memory storage. Shortly - a quality exhibit, which in a modest by practical way shows the beginnings of it all.
Open: upon an appointment only. For a free guided tour (also in English), please call Mr. Ed Dooijes phone +31 651 32 73 06 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a symbolic charge for a tour in a group (up to eight visitors).
How to get there:
Computer Museum is located on the University of Amsterdam Science Park campus (Amsterdam Oost), in the Nikhef building.
By bus: lines 40, 240 (stop Science Park Aqua). By train – Station Amsterdam Science Park.
By car: from Amsterdam center drive along the Middenweg, away from the Tropenmuseum, turn left into Kruislaan when you see the second green space of "De Nieuwe Ooster" cemetery at the Middenweg into the Kruislaan. Drive for about 1 kilometer; pass under the railway track to reach the UVA Science Park. The Nikhef building will be on your right. Arriving from the ring A10, take an exit S113 and drive direction the city centre, take 4th cross street to you right into the Kruislaan, after you have passed the cemetery on your left, and continue to the UVA Science Park.
There is a temporary bypass necessary in 2010/2011 to pass under the railroad because of the railway arch renovation: before reaching the railway tracks, turn left from the Kruislaan into Radioweg and following the streets via Archimedeslaan, Molukkenstraat, again right via Carolina MacGillavrylaan you will reach the other side of the railroad to return to the area of the Science Park. Take left to enter the Science Park campus (paid parking, 2,40 an hour). The Nikhef building will be on your right.
University of Amsterdam / Nikhef - Nationaal Instituut voor Subatomaire Fysica
Science Park 105
1098 XG Amsterdam
Telephone (curator): +31 651 32 73 06