Wall charts, history and European Identity

EU Culture Programme; Education and Culture DG

About this website


This website has been realised for the international project Europe and identity – History on wall charts in an European perspective. A cooperation project between the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. This project, which is financed by the European Union, aims to create awareness about the similarities and differences in teaching in Europe over the last century, through wall charts. The website makes it possible to search for these educational similarities and differences in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, by means of a congress, a website with database, a travelling exhibition and an educational programme. Approximately 3700 historical wall charts will be used from the period 1830 – 1990, from the collections of the Denmark’s Paedagogiske Bibliothek (National Library of Education, Denmark) the Forschungsstelle: Schulwandbild, department of the University of Würzburg (Germany) and the Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum in Rotterdam (National Museum of Education, the Netherlands).
This specific collaboration was chosen for since the three collections are very diverse but contain several sometimes surprising resemblances as well. Apparently mutual mobility of wall charts occurred quite early. For example, the wall chart Inneres eines Römischen Hauses appears in archives in all three countries. We plan to extend the database with collections from other countries in a later stage.


Here you will find a report of the Würzburg congress of 2 and 3 April 2009.

Website with database                                                                          

The database on this website uncovers the historical wall charts from the different collections. For instructions on using this database, please go to Use of the website.


At the moment preparations are being made for an accompanying exhibition which will travel trough Europe. In due time, more information on the exhibition will be published on this website.

Educational programme                                                                       

Currently the first pilot version of the educational programme is being tested. As soon as the testing is finished more information on this programme will be available on this website.

Wall chart

Wall charts have been at the centre of European education from the second half of the nineteenth century up to second half of the twentieth century. Next to school books, wall charts were amongst the most important and influential educational appliances at schools. Wall charts are very strong visual mediums. Since visualisation was an important component of learning processes, wall charts were used by and known to many people in Europe. Many years after their schooldays, many people are still able to recollect images that were used during their lessons. Furthermore, wall charts have also been used as wall decoration, which has merely contributed to this process.

Use of the website

It is possible to search for wall charts in four different ways.


The button time at the left top of the website, directs you to the timeline. By means of specific dates, wall charts can be found from the German, Danish or Dutch collections.


The place-button at the left top of the website leads to a map. By entering place names, wall charts can be found from the German, Danish or Dutch collections.


The wall charts are grouped in various themes: Trade, Voyage, War, Portrait, Religion, nationalism and European history. The different themes can be selected with the theme button at the left top of the website. With the tags that will appear at the right side of the screen, the search can be further specified.

General search-button

When searching for a specific wall chart ,enter the full or part of the title at the right top side of the website.

After finding a wall chart, it can be easily compared to other wall charts with the buttons on the right side of the website (same place, same time, tags and themes).


At the left top of the website a personal folder can be made for saving your favourite wall charts. The wall chart images can easily be added to your personal folder, simply by clicking add to favourites.

About us

University of Würzburg                                                                        

The University of Würzburg has been home to thirteen Nobel Laureates, amongst whom Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of x-rays in 1901) and Klaus von Klitzing (Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of quantized Hall effect in 1985). Founded in 1402, the university has grown over time into an institutions with ten faculties, 70 institutes and over 21,000 students.

The Pedagogical Institute’s wall charts research section was inaugurated in May 2003. The collection contains about 10,000 original wall charts.


National Museum of Education, Rotterdam                                    

The museum was founded in 1877 in Amsterdam. After various moves the museum found new housing in Rotterdam in 1989. The collection of the museum currently contains more than 140,000 items, ranging from wall charts to furniture, schoolbooks and other educational appliances. The wall chart collection includes approximately 200 Dutch, as well as 50 German historical wall charts.


Danish National Library of Education

The Danish National Library of Education is the main library of The Danish School of Education, University of Aarhus and also the main national collection in the fields of: Education, Educational psychology and Children's literature. The Library holds a collection of over 12.000 wall charts. The historical parts of the Danish wall charts from this collection are part of the project.