Visit the Museum
Who is it for?
For anyone that wants to learn about soils in life and ecosystems, and see the enormous variation of soil types in the world
What is there to see?
You can see soil profiles that have been sampled up to a depth of 1.50 m and are conserved through impregnation with diluted lacquer or glue. The thickness is about 6 cm. Such preserved soil profiles are called soil monoliths.
What is a soil monolith?
A soil monolith is a vertical section of soil, sampled from the field, and prepared with a binding agent for preservation. These profiles are vertical sections of the soil that show the composition, layering and structure of the soil in manner very close as to how the soil may be viewed in the soil pit in the field. Most profiles have been sampled from a column with a width of 25 cm�s and up to a depth of 1.50 m. They are conserved through impregnation with diluted lacquer. The thickness of the preserved monolith is typically about 6 cm�s.
Monolith sampling in the field
Taking a monolith in the field is a team work activity that requires brain and brawn. The sampling is carefully planned in collaboration with local institutions. After selection of a representative site in the field, full descriptions are made of landscape and soil, after a pit has been dug. When all genetic soil layers, horizons, have been sampled for analyses, a column is dug out. A wooden box is carefully fitted around the column. The column is then loosened from the profile wall, step by step, until it is completely isolated from the soil. The sample is kept undisturbed by wrapping the column in cloth during the detachment process. After the column has been lifted out of the pit, the surplus material above the box is removed with a knife. The box is then closed and brought to the nearest (which can be quite far at times!) road by two strong persons. The box is ready for transport to the ISRIC workshop in Wageningen.
Opening hours and visits
OPEN: Wednesdays 13.30h until 17.30h
Groups and guided tours: Monday to Friday by appointment, on working days (between 9.00-17.00h)
Plan and book a visit to the soil museum:
You can choose a tour of the World Soil Museum, focusing on the history and purpose of the museum and its collections and the presentation of the collection, on a special part of the collection, or on a special theme.
Our tourleading guides have been specially trained for this work by the World Soil Museum.
The tours can be conducted in English or Dutch. Tours are for groups of a minimum of 5 and maximum of 30 persons and have variable durations. Museum admission is free.
For guided tours, the fee is � 35 for a half hour tour, and 70 � for a 1-hour tour. More extensive tours are also possible. Pleasecontact usfor details.
Plan your guided tour
You can choose a tour of the World Soil Museum, focusing on the history and purpose of the museum and its collections and the presentation of the collection, on a special part of the collection, or on a special theme. Our tourleading guides have been specially trained for this work by the World Soil Museum. The tours can be conducted in English or Dutch.
Tours are for groups of a minimum of 5 and maximum of 30 persons and have variable durations.
Museum admission is free. The fee is � 35 for a medium duration guided tour and 70 � for a one hour tour (fee for educational groups that require more than one hour to be discussed).
Please book in advance
Food and drinks are not allowed in the museum. Near the entrance of the museum there is a coffee machine and there is a lunch cafeteria, the Gaia-Lumen kiosk, open from 10.00-13.30h on Mon � Fri.
The World Soil Museum is accessible for people with physical impairments. The exposition room is at the first floor and is accessible by elevator. The Museum has adapted toilets available in the hall of the main (GAIA) building.
Head of World Soil Museum, Curator of physical collections Provides Lectures and guides groups in English, Dutch and Spanish
Kees van Diepen (volunteer)
Guides groups in English, Dutch and French
Marianne Creutzberg (volunteer)
Provides guidance and is host in the museum on Wednesdays.
The staff of the reception at the entry of the museum will provide access to the building and bring you into contact with the museum staff.