Interview: Mathieu Willemsen, Curator of the Dutch National Military Museum

Today we have a brief conversation with Mathieu Willemsen, Curator of the Dutch National Military Museum. This was shorter than I would have preferred, because it came right at the end of a long day of filming guns, and we only had a few minutes – but I would like to encourage anyone who happens to find themselves in the Netherlands to make time to visit the museum – it is well worth it!

Those who are particularly interested will enjoy and appreciate Mathieu’s book, “Trial And Experiment” on the Dutch collection of interested experimental firearms.


  1. A big asset for researchers is the museum’s library (online catalogue available) which has a number of books which are really unique because copies in other libraries were lost during WW2.
    The museum is located at Soesterberg air base.

    P.S. Willemsen’s book is also available in German.

  2. The library items count as part of the collection and are in the same catalog.
    On the homepage click in the “Menu” field at the top of the page.

    The yellow screen that opens has a column “ONTDEK” (discover)in the center, where you should click on “Collectie” (collection).
    On the next screen you can enter your search words (Vind = find). To limit your search to books, activate the “boek” (books) field in the “Deelcollectie” (part of collection) column on the right.
    I am afraid there is no English version of the search screen, at least I did not find any. The website is very, very flashy and a giant step backwards for the serious researcher, compared to the old catalog of the Delft museum. But thats the way it is today.

    • That works, thank you.

      I do not like the way some of these new websites for museums and so on have gone.

      The one for the Imperial War Museum is useless.

  3. P.S.: The forum software added “http” to the URL in my above message. If you enter the protocol name, use https.

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