M.W. Beijerinck was appointed Professor of Microbiology at the Delft Polytechnic in 1895, having previously been the head of the first industrial microbiology laboratory in the Netherlands, at the Delft Yeast and Spirit Factory. In 1897, his new laboratory was opened.

During his career, Beijerinck and his group were the first to isolate many bacteria and yeasts, and Beijerinck was also the first to recognise that tobacco mosaic disease was due to a "living" organism. He was also the first to show that the swellings on some plant roots are due to symbiotic N2 - fixing bacteria. It was Beijerinck who first devised the principles of the enrichment (or elective) culture-- a technique still in use today.

Although he did not use the term, Beijerinck is recognised as the founder of the Delft School of Microbiology.

As well as his laboratory journals, office furniture and various papers, the collection includes pen and ink drawings by the Professor and paintings by his sister, Henriëtte.




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