Het Persmuseum (The Press Museum)

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As a journalist, it's hard to not to love Het Persmuseum (The Press Museum), a national archive for Dutch journalism. With its immense, exhaustive collection of periodicals from 1600 onward, plus press-oriented advertisements, photos, and an extensive library, there's plenty to pique the curiosity of lovers of the written word. The permanent exhibit, "Start de persen!" ('Start the presses!') recounts 400 years of Dutch news, from the advent of the press to contemporary mass media.

The exhibit, beside well-executed audio-visual and interactive elements, also attempts to recreate the atmosphere of an old-time newsroom; I was particularly taken with the newsroom antiques, from rotary telephones to clunky typewriters, which were the tools of the profession before the advent of the personal computer.

The museum is chiefly tailored to Dutch speakers, but some parts of the exhibits - journalistic artifacts, non-verbal political cartoons, and other items - are accessible even to those who don't understand a word of Dutch. (Still, if possible, it's be nice to have a Dutch speaker on hand to chime in with the occasional explanation.) The relevance of temporary exhibits to non-Dutch visitors varies - some require decent familiarity with Dutch culture to really be appreciated, while others have a more universal appeal.

Proceeds from the Persmuseum web shop also contribute to their efforts to raise awareness of freedom of the press and speech and the preservation of journalistic history, so it's an excellent place to stock up on souvenirs for literary-minded friends for a worthy cause.

Het Persmuseum Visitor Information:

Het Persmuseum
Zeeburgerkade 10
1019 HA Amsterdam

  • Tues - Fri 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sun 12 - 5 p.m.
  • Closed on Jan 1, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Dec 25 and 26.

Admission Fees
  • Adults: € 4.50
  • 65+ and 13 - 18 years: € 3.25
  • Students (with ID): € 2.25
  • Children 12 and under and "I amsterdam" card holders: Free
  • Children up to 3, "I amsterdam" card holder and Hollandpass holders: Free

Get There
  • From Central Station, take bus 22 or 48 (the stop is located in front of Sint Nicolaaskerk in the direction of the Indische Buurt to the Veelaan stop. Head north on Veelaan and make a left onto Cruquiusweg, then a right onto C. van Eesterenlaan; make another right onto Zeeburgerkade, where the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis is located. The Persmuseum is at the rear side of the institute. Alternatively, take tram 10 to Van Eesterenlaan and follow the directions from there.

More Information

Call +31 (0)20 692 88 10, or visit the Persmuseum web site.
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