The grand re-opening of the Mineralogical-Geological Museum in the Science Centre on Mijnbouwstraat took place on 23 April. Sponsors, current and former professors, staff members and current and former students met in the beautifully renovated reception hall.
The foundation for the collection was laid in 1864 by Professor of Mining Herman Vogelsang. A programme in mining without a collection would have been inconceivable. In the museum’s heyday, students, staff and alumni collected minerals, ores and rocks from all over the world. The mineralogical collection is unique, and it is one of the few universitycollections that is still intact. Many of the minerals are from mining regions that have been closed for decades.
Several years ago, when there was a good chance that the collection – which had since been gathering dust – would be dismantled, TU Delft alumnus Duco Drenth took immediate action. ‘Money should not be an object’, declared Drenth, who laid out plans for the Executive Board and approached sponsors. With nearly €1 million in sponsor funding, a portion of the collection is now housed on the second floor of the building on Mijnbouwstraat. The hall has been re-named the Dietsmann hall, after the chief sponsor.
‘Because of the chief sponsors – Dietsmann, Shell, Fugro and Dyas – the museum will have 10 years to prove its worth, in part to the credit of TU Delft and the dissemination of knowledge about our subsurface’, according to Drenth.