Near the conference venue there is a small museum called the Dick Bruna House. Dick Bruna was a famous Utrecht cartoonist who invented the famous book character of Miffy. In Dutch, Miffy is called Nijntje (meaning ‘little rabbitt’). Read more about the Dick Bruna Huis.
Like many other museums, the Aboriginal museum resides in the so-called museum quarter, which is the home of many great museums. All of them are in walking distance from the University Hall, where the conference is held. The Aboriginal museum is a museum of contemporary Aboriginal art. At the time of the conference, there is an exhibition called Country to Coast: Colours of the Kimberley. The exhibition shows aboriginal art from Kimberley in the north-west of Australia.
In 2014, Utrecht will present itself as International Music City. Because of the opening of TivoliVredenburg, a huge new concert hall in the city center, this theme has been chosen for this year. Although a lot of information is still only available in Dutch, we will keep conference goers posted on interesting developments and events (especially in the ISHS conference week).
Although Utrecht University certainly has its exchange programs and international courses, one of its internationally most well known flag ships is University College Utrecht. UCU is an international honours college with a Liberal Arts and Sciences orientation. It has its own campus in between the buildings at De Uithof (on the east side of Utrecht) and in the city centre. In 2012, 677 students from 67 countries attended UCU. Students will have to take classes from the Humanities, the Sciences and the Social Sciences, but also have great liberty to pursue their own academic passions and interests, inside and outside of Utrecht.
A few minutes’ walk from University Hall (the conference venue) one can find the University Museum of Utrecht University. The building is modern, but blends in nicely into the historial surroundings of the Museum Quarter. It is an interactive musem aimed at people from all walks of life. It has a collection of preserved foetuses, an exhibtion about professor Donders who started a famous eye clinic in Utrecht. There is also a small but surprising botanical garden in the gardens of the museum. Read more about the University Museum.
Utrecht University has a strong international orientation. The majority of its scientific output (e.g., 8114 articles in 2012) is in English. But there is also a strong tradition with regard to student exchange programs, for example with the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where ISHS member Barbara Plester works. And in Europe our university cooperates with the University of Krakow, where Wladyslaw Chlopicki (currently running for the ISHS presidency) works at the English department. In the far east Utrecht University cooperates with the National University of Singapore, where Lee Cher Leng (Chinese studies) works.
The Faculty of Social Sciences of Utrecht University, the faculty Sibe Doosje is a member of, celebrates its 50th anniversary. It does this with an attractive scientific and social program during the academic year 2013-2014. Read more (page in Dutch).
The Dutch Railway Museum is also situated in Utrecht. Because of its central position in The Netherlands, Utrecht is a main hub for car and railway traffic. Therefore it is not so strange that the Railway Museum has its location here. it shows a rich collection of Dutch trains and many interactive displays regarding the history of our railway system. One of the trains is the one in which Juliana, previously queen of The Netherlands, has traveled. Because of the high density of railway tracks, many places in our country can be reached by train. For example, if you want to go to the beach, you can get in the train in Utrecht and get out again in Zandvoort. The railway station is only a few hundred yards from the beach. Wikipedia about the Railway Museum.
Both New York and Utrecht have a new mayor starting their office on January 1st, 2014. For New York this is the Democrat Bill de Blasio, for Utrecht the liberal democrat Jan van Zanen. Jan van Zanen has lived in Utrecht for a long time and he is considered someone with great communication and managing skills. Before Utrecht, he was mayor in Amstelveen. We sure hope Jan is going to welcome us personally in Utrecht City Hall, at the welcome reception of ISHS2014 on Tuesday, July 8th.
Utrecht University has two libraries: one in the centre of the city and one on the Uithof campus at the east of the city. This post is on the latter, which is a very modern building designes by a famous architect, Wiel Arets. The building is situated at the Uithof campus, where many students live and where social sciences, physical sciences and medicine have their home. The library at this campus was ready in 2005 and it is a very special building. Its main colour is black and it still is a very light building. Not only does this library hold many books, it also is the place where students have their study centre. If you type in ‘humor’ in the library’s catalogue, you will find 762 entries, including Jessica Milner Davis‘ work on humour in China, John Morreall‘s religion toolkit and Delia Chiaro‘s work on humor in translation. Learn more about University Library Uithof.