The museum’s collection of bells is internationally renowned. We also have the world’s most extensive library and documentation centre on the subject of bells.
The museum started in 1969 with the collection of historic bells and technical accessories assembled at the foundry of Eijsbouts by the campanologist Dr André Lehr (1929-2007). He was a worthy scientific researcher with many publications to his name.
He was co-founder and first curator of the National Bell Museum. Largely on his advice, a leading comprehensive collection of bells was purchased, the Sarna Collection from the U.S.A. and loaned to the museum. In addition, major Dutch museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Boerhave Museum, gave us important Dutch bells and collections on permanent loan.
Our core collection consists of bells and carillons from the Low Countries. There are also bells from other cultures. Our collection of bells from Asia, especially China, can equally be regarded as a core collection. A defining feature of the museum is an impressive astronomical clock. There is also a permanent exhibition surrounding the special bell cast in Asten for the Notre Dame in Paris.