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Original letters Einstein and Lorentz donated to museum Boerhaave

Museum Boerhaave amplifies its collection with original letters and pictures from Einstein and Lorentz. Professor by special appointment Dirk van Delft, also director of Boerhaave, accepted the documents on 12 March.

In December 1923, the Amsterdam Society for the Promotion of Physics, Medicine and Surgery awarded gold medals to Albert Einstein and Hendrik Lorentz for their special achievements. After his return to Berlin, Einstein sent his handwritten word of thanks per mail to professor Delprat, secretary of the society. A granddaughter of Delprat officially donated this letter to museum Boerhaave on 12 March.

At the same ceremony, the museum received unique documents about Lorentz. ‘These are donated by the De Groot family, descendants of Lorentz,’ says Van Delft. ‘This includes a bank write-off of his Nobel Prize. Plus we gain a better view of his younger years, through ownership documents for pieces of land from his father. Lorentz certainly didn’t come from a poor family.’ Among the documents are also a sketch of the seating arrangement for the dies natalis dinner of Leiden University in 1900 with Lorentz at the head of the table as rector, and an HBS certificate for "rewarded diligence and achieved progress in the Mathematical Courses."

A special bond

Bank write-off Nobel prize
Seating arrangement for the dies natalis dinner of Leiden University in 1900
HBS certificate