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Beijerinck Museum

Welcome to the Archives of the Delft School of Microbiology at Delft University of Technology.

This Archive contains the papers and many of the tools of three Professors at Delft University of Technology:

  • Martinus Willem Beijerinck, the  first Professor of Microbiology in Delft. He was the first person to use the term "virus" for the invisible disease causing material that he had shown to be self-replicating on tobacco leaves - TMV. He originated the selective culture technique, also known as enrichment culturing, and was the first to isolate a wide range of microorganisms. He is seen as the founding father of the Delft School of Microbiology.
  • Gerrit van Iterson jr was the Professor of Applied Botany, and one of Beijerinck's pupils. He is known for his work on tropical products such as rubber and tea, and as a biomathematician. He was fascinated by the mathematics underlying plant organisation and development. 
  • Albert Jan Kluyver, second Professor of Microbiology at Delft, and pupil of van Iterson. Among Kluyver's achievements is his work on Unity in Biochemistry - that biochemical pathways are essentially similar no matter what the organism using them. He also showed that one can get reproducible results with fungi by using submerged cultures rather than allowing them to develop on the surface of media, and that it is a good idea to combine biochemical and morphological features when identifying microorganisms.

 The Collection is preserved in the Museum at the Delft Science Centre.

See also:

The plaque shown above came from the old laboratory, and now hangs in the entrance to the current microbiology laboratory. The quotation is from Beijerinck’s final lecture and loosely translates: “Happy are they who are starting now”.

© 2017 TU Delft