TU Delft Library

Special collections

TU Delft Library's special collections consist of:

  • The Trésor (treasury): a large collection of historic books, journals, maps, atlases, photographs and prints.
  • The museum collections: a legacy of instruments and other memorabilia from education and research.

What can they be used for?

You can use the special collections for:

  • research into the history of science or technology
  • research into industrial archaeology
  • leisure research
  • exhibitions

The Trésor

The Trésor includes historic books, journals, maps, photographs and prints from before 1900. Their age, rarity, value or vulnerability is what makes them special. The Trésor also collects TU Delft output that is not usually included in academic journals, like speeches, dissertations and lecture notes. There are approximately 50,000 items in the collection.


Part of the Trésor collection originates from the Franeker Academy (Academie van Franeker), which was closed in 1843. Subsequently, the Trésor received donations of science and technology literature from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the National Library of the Netherlands) and the Royal Institute of Engineers in the Netherlands. Later the personal collections of Peters (Architecture), Josephus Jitta (Literature and Philosophy) and Molengraaff (Earth Sciences) were added. As a whole, the Trésor collection provides an overview of technological developments in the Netherlands and the history of research and education at TU Delft.

Museum collections

The museum collections contain resources and tools used at TU Delft in the past for teaching and research. These include measuring equipment, lecture materials, demonstration equipment, research collections as well as art and documentary collections (film and photography). The collections include approximately 8000 items. They provide a picture of the history of research and education at TU Delft. These items can be used for exhibitions within and beyond TU Delft.

Viewing the collections

  • Visit the Trésor
  • Items from the museum collections: to use items from the collections (for exhibitions, photography), please contact Ask Your Library, our customer service.

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