Leiden University logo.

nl en
Photo: Anna Loh

About Museums, Collections & Society

The Museums, Collections & Society research programme is led by the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Archaeology and aims to promote collection-based research, stimulate Leiden education in this field, and raise ethical questions regarding the collections’ origins.

Bridge between Leiden University and museums

Museums, Collections and Society stimulates collection-based research, in the first instance in the collections in Leiden and The Hague, both at Leiden University and at the museums. The MCS research group aims to act as a bridge between academia and the museum world, operating within national and international networks.


Research with and into the collections is interwoven with the Master’s programmes offered by the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Archaeology. MCS also acts as a portal for international students who wish to study heritage or museum studies in Leiden.

Partners and collections

MCS manages an extensive network and we are usually able to quickly refer people to potential partners and colleagues. We also organise activities, such as seminars and workshops, with various stakeholders.

MCS works intensively together with the LDE Centre for Global Heritage and Development and LeidenGlobal. We also work together with the University of Bristol on the 'The Rise of Private Museums and Heritage in East and Southeast Asian' project, with Prof. Graeme Were.

In collaboration with the Leiden museums, we hope to make the museum collections and accompanying documentation more accessible for research.

The city of Leiden is home to many museums and Leiden University houses large numbers of exceptional collections and archives. Important national museums include the National Museum of Antiquities, Naturalis, the Museum of World Cultures, and Rijksmuseum Boerhaave. Research is also conducted at all these museums by curators and other researchers.

A museum that deserves special mention is the Hortus Botanicus, with its unique collection of plants from around the world. De Lakenhal municipal museum showcases Leiden history and modern art. Japan Museum SieboldHuis exhibits the collections of the early-19th century collector Philipp Franz von Siebold.

The exceptional collections of the Leiden University Library and the Bibliotheca Thysiana are world famous.

This website uses cookies.