75 Years of the NINO

1 October 2014 until 3 May 2015

Exhibition '75 Years of the NINO'Exhibition '75 Years of the NINO'
Professor Böhl in LuristanProfessor Böhl in Luristan
Clay tablet with a contract recording the purchase of a slaveClay tablet with a contract recording the purchase of a slave
Temple Mountain in UrukTemple Mountain in Uruk

In August 2014, the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) celebrated its 75th anniversary. To mark the occasion, a special NINO jubilee exhibition is to be held at the National Museum of Antiquities this year. A combination of the most beautiful objects and the most striking photographs in the NINO's collection will be selected to illustrate the institute's history. Many of these objects and photographs have never been on show before.

Travel photographs from 1939

The 1920s and 1930s were the heyday of archaeological research in the Near East. The international archaeological community organised major excavations of cities including Ur, Nineveh and Susa. It was against this background that the NINO was founded in 1939. Photographs of the trip to Iraq and Iran that Professor Böhl – one of the first directors of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) – undertook in 1939 provide the main leitmotiv of the exhibition. 

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) occupies one of the university buildings on Witte Singel in Leiden, at walking distance from the National Museum of Antiquities. It launches and supports research projects on the past and present-day languages and cultures of the Near East. The term 'Near East' refers to the region embracing present-day Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.

Enormous number of cultures

The NINO studies the entire period from the formation of the earliest civilisations down to the present day. This is naturally a vast research field, embracing an enormous number of cultures, each with its own language and customs. Its huge library and fascinating collection of archaeological objects reflect this vastness. The library contains over 50,000 books to which the public has unrestricted access.

Objects and photographsSelection from the exhibition