Dr. A. Weber (Andreas)

Assistant Professor

UT Research Information System: Publications Andreas Weber 

Ravelijn room RA 4315
PO Box 217, NL - 7500 AE Enschede


Andreas Weber is a historian with a special interest in the long-term development of science and technology in society and digital heritage. In my work I take individuals, mostly naturalists and chemists, and everyday materials that traversed insular Southeast Asia and Europe in the long nineteenth century as starting point. In a connected line of research (digital heritage project: Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives), I work on developing a digital environment that facilitates such inquiries. The Making Sense project aims at developing an advanced and user-friendly online service to search and network digitized illustrated handwritten collections. Core use case of the project is the archive of the Committee for Natural History of the Netherlands Indies (1820-1850). It is one of the top-collections of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. In the past, Andreas has undertaken various efforts to disclose this archive for historians, biodiversity researchers and a broader public.

Moreover, he is working on a monograph with the working title Materials at work: Governing nature and society in the early nineteenth century Dutch Empire. The book will consist of four material biographies which shed fresh light on the co-productive relationship between chemistry, governance, and empire through the lens of everyday materials. In the context of this project, Andreas also co-curated a public exhibition on the history of recycling at the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine, Museum Boerhaave, in Leiden.

Andreas is also one of the editors of the Brill Book Series Emergence of Natural History (ENH). 

Andreas studied History, German language and literature at the Universities Leiden (MA History, 2005, cum laude) and Bamberg (1. Staatsexamen, 2006). As PhD student at Leiden University (2007-2012), Andreas focused on the intertwined histories of natural history, chemistry, and government reform in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Netherlands and its overseas territories in the Indonesian Archipelago. Key figure of his dissertation was the German chemist-administrator Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt (1773-1854).

Andreas has developed and taught courses on Dutch (colonial) history, history of science in colonial and global context, intro to STS, and the long term development of science and technology at the Universities of Enschede and Leiden. Since 2017, he is also course director of the international summer course Governance and Ethics of Technology, which takes place in the context of the Twente Summer School CuriousU. Moreover, he has (co-)supervised several MA and BA theses in those fields. From September 2010 to January 2011, he has worked as temporary coordinator of the Leiden ENCOMPASS program, a training program for students from all over Asia.

Key publications:

For a full list of publications, please check also my private website, researchgate or academia.


Weber, A. Hybrid Ambitions: Science, Governance, and Empire in the Career of Caspar C.G. Reinwardt (1773-1854). Amsterdam: Leiden University Press, 2012 (=dissertation).

Articles and book chapters, and other work:

Weber, A. "Renegotiating debt: Chemical Governance and Money in the Early Nineteenth Century Dutch Empire," in Compound Histories: Materials, Governance and Production, 1760-1840, ed. Lissa Roberts and Simon Werrett (Leiden: Brill 2017), 205-225. For full text, click here.

Weber, A.; Ameryan, M.,; Wolstencroft, K.; Stork, L.; Heerlien, M.; Schomaker, L. "Towards a Digital Infrastructure for Illustrated Handwritten Archives," (peer-reviewed, Mahya Ameryan and Andreas Weber share first authorship, appears in Springer Lecture Notes of Computer Science by the end of 2017).

Weber, A. "World Histories of Science and Material Exchange," Journal of World History 28, 1 (2017): 178-183.

Stork, L. and Weber, A. “A Linked Data Approach to Disclose Handwritten Biodiversity Heritage Collections,” Book of Abstracts, DH Benelux 2017 (Utrecht 2017), 10-13 (peer-reviewed, for full text click here).

Weber, A.; Ameryan, M.; Stork, L.; Wolstencroft, K.; Gassó Miracle, E.; Nijssen, S.; Wiering, M.; Heerlien, M.; Thijssen, M.; Huetink, M.; Verbeek, F.; Plaat A.; Kok, J.; Roberts, L.; Herik, J. van den; Schomaker, L., Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives, Poster at eScience Symposium, Amsterdam, 13 October 2016.

Schomaker, L.; Weber, A.; Thijssen, M.; Heerlien, M.; Plaat A.; Nijssen, S.; Verbeek, F.; Lew, M.; Gassó Miracle, E.; Wolstencroft, K.; Suvyer, E.; Verheij, B.; Wiering, M.; Dekker, R.; Kok, J.; Roberts, L.; Van den Herik, J. Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives, Digital Humanities 2016 Krakow, Conference Abstracts, 764-766. (peer-reviewed)

Weber, A. “Bitter Fruits of Accumulation: the Case Caspar G.C. Reinwardt (1773-1854). History of Science 3 (2014): 297-318.

[Van Driel, J.; Weber, A.; Maas, A.; Roberts, L.L. (2012-2015): Co-curation of the exhibition Wealth of Waste (Rijk van Rotzooi) at Museum Boerhaave, the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine in Leiden. As the only exhibition, it has received an ‘honorary mention’ in the 2016 competition for the Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits of the American Society for the History of Technology, SHOT].

Weber, A. and J. Gommans. “An Interview with Jürgen Osterhammel.“ Itinerario 3 (2011): 7-16.

Weber, A. “Sprache im 'Zwischenraum': Adriaan David Cornets de Groot jun. (1804-1829) als multilingualer Grenzgänger im zentraljavanischen Surakarta,” in Sprachgrenzen - Sprachkontakte - kulturelle Vermittler. Kommunikation zwischen Europäern und Außereuropäern (16.-20. Jahrhundert), ed. Mark Häberlein and Alexander Keese (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2010), 223-243.

Weber, A. and H. Schulte Nordholt. „An Interview with Thee Kian Wie.“ Itinerario 1 (2010): 9-34.

Weber, A. and H. Schulte Nordholt. „Interview with Thee Kian Wie.” Merajut sejarah ekonomi Indonesia: Essays in honour of Thee Kian Wie 75 years birthday, ed. Thomas Lindblad and Bambang Purwanto (Yogyakarta: Ombak 2010), 41-88.

Weber, A. “Encountering the Netherlands Indies: Caspar G.C. Reinwardt's Field Trip to the East (1816-1822).” Itinerario 1 (2009): 45-60.

Book reviews (alphabetically)

Barnard, Timothy B. (2016): Nature’s colony: Empire, nation and environment in the Singapore Botanical Gardens in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (2017, in preparation).

Cook, Harold J. and Sven Dupré (eds.) (2012): Translating Knowledge in the Early Modern Low Countries in 14 (2014).

Dupré, Sven and Christoph Lüthy (eds.) (2011): Silent Messengers. The Circulation of Material Objects of Knowledge in the Early Modern Low Countries in 14 (2014).

Diarmid A. Finnegan and Jonathan Jeffrey Wright (eds.) (2015): Spaces of Global Knowledge: Exhibition, encounter and exchange in an age of empire in Isis 108, 2 (2017):453-454. (doi: 10.1086/692426)

Goss, Andrew (2011): The Floracrats: State-sponsored Science and the Failure of Enlightenment in Indonesia in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 2-3 (2011): 340-342.

Güttler, Nils (2014): Das Kosmoskop. Karten und ihre Benutzer in der Pflanzengeographie des 19. Jahrhunderts in Isis. A Journal of the History of Science Society 106 (2015): 459-460.

Kevin Y.L. Tan (2015): Of Whales and Dinosaurs: The Story of Singapore's Natural History Museum in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 1 (2016): 150-151.

Knight, R.G. (2015): Trade and Empire in Early Nineteenth-Century Southeast Asia. Gillian Maclaine and his Business Network in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 4 (2016): 573-74.

Loeber, Katharina (2010): Der Niedergang des Chilesalpeters. Chemische Forschung, militärische Interessen, ökonomische Auswirkungen in Jahrbuch für Europäische Überseegeschichte 13 (2013): 316-318.

Patrick Manning & Daniel Rood (2016): Global Scientific Practice in an Age of Revolutions, 1750-1850 in Journal of Modern History (submitted to Journal of Modern History).

Schönitzer, Klaus (2011): Ein Leben für die Zoologie. Die Reisen und Forschungen des Johan Baptist Ritter von Spix in Jahrbuch für Europäische Überseegeschichte 14 (2014): 309-311.

Schoor, Wim van der (2012): Zuivere en toegepaste wetenschap in de tropen in Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 126.1 (2013): 136-137.

Sternagel, Renate (2011): Der Humboldt von Java. Leben und Werk des Naturforschers Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn (1809-1864) in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 1 (2012): 151-153.

Strauss, Dieter (2011): Der grüne Baron. Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff, der Humboldt Brasiliens, und seine Expedition von Rio de Janeiro zum Amazonas 1822-1829 in Jahrbuch für Europäische Überseegeschichte 14 (2014): 309-31.

Zangger, Andreas (2011): Koloniale Schweiz: Ein Stück Globalgeschichte zwischen Europa und Südostasien (1860-1930) in Studium. Tijdschrift voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteits­geschiedenis 1 (2014): 56-57.

In the press (selection)

Article and interview in De Volkskrant (Jvolkskrantuly 3, 2017) with Lambert Schomaker (ALICE Groningen) and me on the Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives project. The item which carries the title ‘Verslag uit de jungle is ook een jungle uit papier’ is written by Geertje Dekkers.

Feature article and interview in Bionews (February 25, 2017) on my research in the context of the collaborative project Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives. The 2-page piece written by Menno Schilthuizen is called ‘Terabytes aan Tropenjaren’.

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (2016): Mention of the exhibition ‘Wealth of Waste’ in the NWO annual report for the year 2015.

Tubantia (2015): UT helpt om een schat aan handgeschreven kennis te ontsluiten. Kennis van Nu, NPO Wetenschap (2015): Radio interview on the exhibit Rijk van Rotzooi at Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. (together with Joppe van Driel)


  • UnityFM, Leiden (2015): Radio interview on exhibition Rijk van Rotzooi at Museum Boerhaave.
  • El Sol de Mexico (October 25, 2015), Reciclaje, una costumbre milenaria. One page illustrated article on the exhibition Wealth of Waste.
  • Chemisch2Weekblad (July 3, 2015) short piece on the exhibition Rijk van Rotzooi titled: “Wat een rotzooi rijkdom”.
  • Volkskrant (2011): Te kijk. Collectie Natuurkundige Commissie. Een schat in Leiden.
  • New York Times Online (2011): Slide show on the ‘Committee for Natural History’ (together with Chris Smeenk and Richard Conniff).

Selected conference and working papers:

  • Utrecht, 2017: Studying Empire’s Nature: Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity, Descartes Colloquium, Utrecht University.
  • Woudschoten, 2017: Science and the Dutch Empire in the Nineteenth Century: Natural Historical Collections as Digital Challenge and Opportunity, Bi-annual meeting of Dutch historians of Science (Woudschoten VII).
  • Leiden, 2017: Reinwardt en de vroege jaren van de tuin in Bogor, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Hortus Wintercollege.
  • London, 2017: Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge and Opportunity, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, London (together with Lambert Schomaker, ALICE U Groningen)
  • Enschede, 2017: Towards an Infrastructure for Illustrated Handwritten Archives, ITC Faculty (together with Lise Stork, LIACS U Leiden).
  • Schoonhoven, 2016: Over zilver essays en sjoemelende muntmeesters in Nederland en zijn voormalige koloniën, mini symposium “Zilver & Goud. De historie van edelmetalen”, Zilvermuseum, Schoonhoven.
  • Den Haag, 2016 (together with Lambert Schomaker): Automatische handschriftenherkenning in 19e eeuwse dagboeken als casus voor het MONK-systeem.
  • Krakow, 2016: Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives, Digital Humanities 2016, Krakow (co-authored short paper, see list of publications above).
  • Montreal, 2016: Making Governance Work: Paper in the Dutch Empire, 1790-1820. Winter speaker series 2016, Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University.
  • Philadelphia, 2016: Natural Historical Archives as Digital Challenge, Glam Café at University of Pennsylvania (Kislak center).
  • Philadelphia, 2015: Making Money Circulate: Chemistry and ‘Governance’ in the Career of Coins in the Early 19th-Century Dutch Empire. Brown Bag Lecture. Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF).
  • Groningen, 2015: Making Governance Work: Paper in the Dutch Empire, 1790-1820. Seminar for the Center for Historical Studies.
  • Florence, 2014: Making Money Circulate: Chemistry and ‘Governance’ in the Career of Coins in the Early Nineteenth Century Dutch Empire, workshop of the international research network: Sites of Chemistry, 1760-1840.
  • Philadelphia, 2014: Governing Fluids. Chemistry and Empire in the Career of Hydrometers, 1800-1820. Chemical Reactions: Chemistry and Global History. Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF).
  • Boston, 2013: A Master of Paperwork: C.G.C. Reinwardt (1773-1854), Natural History and the Governance of the Dutch Empire in the East. History of Science Society (HSS), Annual meeting.
  • Uppsala, 2013 (together with Joppe van Driel): Backbones of Productivity, Fertilizer, Writing Paper and Ink in the Netherlands, 1780-1815, International Conference for the History of Chemistry.
  • Leuven, 2013: Searching for Surrogates: Paper and Ink in the Netherlands, 1780-1830, workshop of the international research network: Sites of Chemistry, 1760-1840.
  • Utrecht, 2013: Towards a History of Paperwork: Writing Paper in the Netherlands, 1780-1800. Descartes Colloquium.
  • London, 2012. Putting Accumulation in its Time and Place: Leiden and Batavia, c. 1820. Informal lunch lecture at the LSE, project: Useful and Reliable Knowledge in Global Histories of Material Progress in the East and the West (URKRW).
  • Den Haag, 2010. Forging New Connections: Adriaan David Cornets de Groot Junior (1804-1829) and the mapping of the Javanese language in the early nineteenth century, Najaarscongres KNHG ‘A new Dutch imperial History’.
  • Mumbai, 2010. Do Local Encounters Matter? The Life and Career of the Naturalist and Colonial Administrator C.G.C. Reinwardt (1773-1854), Second ENCOMPASS Conference on the topic: Monsoon Asia in the Age of Revolutions, 1780-1830. Changes of regime and their aftermath.
  • Amsterdam, 2009. Natural History in Dispute: Humboldtian Naturalists in the Netherlands Indies and their ‘Alternative reading’ of nature, 1815-1850. KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) symposium on the topic: ‘Alexander von Humboldt in Holland (1800-1900)’
  • Jakarta, 2008. The Dutch East Indies as “Contact Zone” for Natural-Historical Research, 1815-1850. Encompass Pilot Conference.
  • Hagen, 2008. Die wissenschaftliche Erschließung Niederländisch-Ostindiens im frühen 19. Jahrhundert – (deutsche) Naturforscher im Spannungsfeld von Wissenschaft und kolonialer Expansion. Presentation at research colloquium, Prof. Reinhard Wendt, FernUniversität Hagen.
  • Oxford, 2008. Naturalists as Mediators of Knowledge in an Expanding Dutch Colonial Empire, 1815-1850. Three Societies Meeting: Connecting Disciplines.
  • Leiden, 2008. A kingdom and its ‘imagined’ colony? – The Malay Archipelago in the Eyes of the Naturalist C.G.C. Reinwardt (1773-1854). Workshop: Local Encounters and the Global Circulation of Knowledge, 1750-1850 at Leiden University.
  • Bamberg, 2008. Sprache als Werkzeug kolonialer Expansion: Die Erschließung des Javanischen am Beispiel Adriaan David Cornets de Groot (1804-1829). Annual Meeting of the German Society for Overseas History, Bamberg. Conference topic: Language barriers, linguistic contacts and cultural brokers in the history of Europe’s encounter with the extra-European world.

Organization of conference sessions and workshops:

  • Philadelphia, 2016: Organization of workshop on the material history of a paper at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. (together with Simon Werrett)
  • Valkenswaard, 2015: Organization of a public symposium on the chemistry of litography. (together with Ernst Homburg)
  • Leiden and Eindhoven, 2014 and 2015: Organization of public mini-symposia on the history of rare earths, uranium and phosphorus. (together with Ernst Homburg and Rob van Veen)
  • Twente, 2014: Organization of the annual internal research conference (STePS Research days). (together with Annalisa Pelizza)
  • Boston, 2013: Organization of a panel on Paper and Paperwork: Tools of Governance and Science. (together with Megan Williams)
  • Leiden, 2010: Organization of a mini-symposium on Unravelling the Archives of the Natuurkundige Commissie voor Nederlandsch Indië (1820-1850). (together with Leonard Blussé, Chris Smeenk en Eulàlia Gassó-Miracle)
  • Leiden, 2008. Organization of an international workshop on Local Encounters and the Global Circulation of Knowledge, 1750-1850 at Leiden University. (together with Lissa Roberts)

Personal grants and fellowships:

John C. Haas Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (2015-2016)
Writing-up fellowship by the Gratama Foundation (2011)
Grant for the organization of a workshop by the Leiden University Fund (2008)
Travel grant for the Three Societies Meeting in Oxford by the Leiden University Fund (2008)
PhD fellowship by the German National Academic Foundation (2007-2010)
Student scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation (2004-2006)