The Netherlands Institue for Sound and Vision, of Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid in Dutch, is located in Hilversum. This is around an hour’s drive or just over an hour on public transport from The Hague. Hilversum is also often refered to as “media city” as it is the main location for television and radio broadcasts. The Institute is an archive and museum dedicated to this topic. We visited in March this year with a group of six adults and five children, of various ages, and all thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I was the only one who didn’t have a childhood in the Netherlands and wasn’t really familiar with Dutch TV, so I didn’t really connect with or truly understand many of the exhibits – however I still found it worth a trip.
With a collection of more than 750,000 hours of television, film, music and radio which dates back to 1898, it is one of the largest audiovisual archives in Europe. Aspects of the material are available to media professionals, education, science and the general public.
The building is amazing and an icon itself, with coloured glass creating a unique effect both inside and out.
Exhibits throughout do focus on Dutch television and radio and as such, may not be experienced in the same way by an english speaker. However it is highly interactive so if you visit with Dutch speakers but don’t speak Dutch yourself, you’re not likely to be bored.
Visitors are issued a digital ring at entry, with one version for children and one for adults. This can then be programmed with an interactive guide…many are Dutch “BNers” (Bekende or famous Nederlanders) and English speakers can choose Rembrant!
As you make your way around, there are many panels to scan your ring. This not only activates certain things, but will save elements of your experience to email to you. For example, you can make a short car chase film, be a popstar or have photos taken with images of BNers.
We ate lunch there in the reasonably priced cafe. My favourite parts were the building itself and wandering through the “Media Ukkie Land” where aspects of media for children was explained and analyzed. The children loved the popstar stage.
We also really enjoyed the process of “making” this short film:
This was also fun:
If you’d like to visit the Institute, you can do so from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5.30pm at a cost of 16 euros for adults and 9 euros for children between the ages of 4 to 12. Children up to the age of 3 are free. On site parking is available for a fee.
A version of this post also appeared on TheHagueOnLine