Curator medieval collections

Dr. Annemarieke Willemsen
Phone number: +31 (0)71 5163 168
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ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0510-9684

Study and career

Annemarieke Willemsen (1969) studied art history and archaeology at Radboud University Nijmegen, where she obtained her PhD in 1998 for a study of late medieval children’s toys. Since 1999, she has been working at the National Museum of Antiquities as Curator of the medieval collections. There, she is responsible for all domestic finds from after the Roman period. She is particularly interested in material culture (also as a phenomenon) and everyday life in the Middle Ages, with an emphasis on children, play, education and fashion in the past. She is director of the quinquennial Dorestad Congress, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Museum Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome.


Her passion is combining sources: objects, images and texts, always in dialogue with each other. Annemarieke Willemsen is an ‘omnivore’ as far as subject matter is concerned: a specialist in the Later Middle Ages who at the National Museum of Antiquities is mainly concerned with Merovingian, Carolingian and Ottonian find complexes, but who has also published on the Romans and the Vikings, who has worked a great deal with medieval manuscripts and still knows her objects from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Important research projects

  • The Year 1000 (2021-2023)
  • The material culture of student life, 1200-1600 (2008-2024)
  • Strictly personal: late medieval material culture (2012-)
  • L.J.F. Janssen and the excavations of Dorestad in the 19th century (2009-)
  • Gloves, mittens, and gauntlets, 700-1700 (2013-2016)
  • Late medieval belt decorations (2006-2012)
  • Schools and pupils in Western Europe, 1300-1600 (2001-2007)
  • Vikings in the Netherlands (2003-2005)
  • Roman children’s toys (1999-2002)
  • Medieval children’s toys (1994-1998)
Annemarieke Willemsen

Annemarieke Willemsen

Important publications

  • The leather and textile for the frame: From David Williams’ purse bars to excavated, preserved and depicted medieval purses, in: D. Boughton & K. Hawkins (eds.), Back in the bag, Essays exploring artefacts in honour of David Wynn Williams, Woking 2022, 111-119.
  • Mixed emotions: The Swords of Dorestad, in: A. Willemsen & H. Kik (eds), Dorestad and its Networks, Communities, Contact and Conflict in Early Medieval Europe, Leiden 2021, 101-115.
  • Growing up in Opulence: The Material Culture Provided for Children Around 1500, in: S. Mareel (ed.), Renaissance Children. Art and Education at the Habsburg Court (1470-1530), Mechelen 2021, 58-71.
  • Children’s Toys in Italy, 1350-1550, in: V. Kopp & E. Lapina (eds), Games and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Turnhout 2020, 263-288.
  • The Geoff Egan Memorial Lecture 2013: Taking up the glove: Finds, uses and meanings of gloves, mittens and gauntlets in Western Europe, c. 1300-1700 AD, Post-Medieval Archaeology 49-1 (2015) 1-36.
  • Medieval Chic in Metal, Decorative Mounts on Belts and Purses from the Netherlands, 1300-1600 AD.
  • ‘Man is a sack of muck girded with silver’: Metal Decoration on Late-medieval Leather Belts and Purses from the Netherlands, Medieval Archaeology 56 (2012) 171-202 [awarded the Martyn Jope Prize 2012].
  • Back to the Schoolyard, The Daily Practice of Medieval and Renaissance Education, Turnhout 2008.
  • Vikings! Raids in the Rhine-Meuse Delta 800-1000, Utrecht 2004.
  • Kinder delijt, middeleeuws speelgoed in de Nederlanden, Nijmegen 1998.
  • Full list of publications Annemarieke Willemsen up to and including 2021.
Annemarieke Willemsen

Annemarieke Willemsen

Important exhibitions