Moving images are an entirely natural part of modern life. But decades ago, even as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, both amateur and professional film makers roamed the city to capture the city and its surroundings on camera.

This exhibition showcases nine compilations created from our collection of moving images, comprising 550 films in all. What did 20th-century Utrecht look like? What forms of transportation did people use? What did locals do in their leisure time? Which spots are still recognisable today? See for yourself in these galleries, featuring highlights of our film collection. You can also view another 16 short films in our basement cinema.

On the ground floor are five galleries devoted to the following themes:

  • Creative amateurs
  • Towards a new city!
  • Street life in Utrecht
  • Old Utrecht
  • Utrecht at work!

The collection


The core of our collection consists of films commissioned by the municipality of Utrecht. It also contains home movies and industry and government recordings. The home movies offer a marvellous glimpse of life over the decades, capturing galas and parties, family outings and children playing in the streets. All of this material was recorded on 8 or 16 mm celluloid film; amateurs filmed on 8mm film and professionals used 16 mm. A sizeable portion of these films have also been digitised to preserve them for future generations.