Back to the future II

The Golden Calf

Every semester, an educator is invited to select a series of objects from TU Delft Library’s Special Collections for a display in the Teaching Lab. In a short film, he or she reflects on the role heritage plays (or could play) in their teaching. In today’s increasingly digitised learning environments, the use of physical collections can offer a valuable change of scene.

Currently on display in the Teaching Lab is the Golden Calf. This exhibition was curated by Bart Root, lecturer at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering and winner of the Innovative Teaching Talent Award 2017. As part of the course Planetary Science 2, Bart lectures on Planetary Gravity Field Modelling. To introduce his students to the gravitational field of the Earth and other planets, and to the practical challenges of carrying out measurements, Bart recounts the fascinating eight-month voyage of Prof. Vening Meinesz on board of the submarine K-XVIII. During this expedition, Veining Meinesz carried out 240 measurements with his meticulously built gravimetric instrument nicknamed the Golden Calf.


Library information box

Since 2017, in celebration of its 175th anniversary, TU Delft is investing in raising the profile of its academic heritage by improving the preservation of collections, initiating research projects and organising presentations on campus in collaboration with students and academic staff. If you are an educator and you would like to curate an exhibition at the Teaching Lab, please contact the Academic Heritage Team at TU Delft Library:

First in the series:

Back to the future I – Hyperbolic paraboloid by Anoesjka Cabo

More information

Bart Root – Faculty of Aerospace Engineering  

Jules Schoonman – TU Delft Library Academic Heritage team 

Film: NewMedia Centre

Animation: Roland van Roijen – New Media Centre

Photography: Marcel Krijger –

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