On 31 May 1938 our predecessor professor Pulle delivered an address on the ”stocktaking of the heritage of our forefathers” on the occasion of the opening of the enlarged and reorganized Laboratory of special Botany and Plant Geography” of the University of Utrecht. The ”renewal” had been radical: a totally new herbarium building had been built in the southern-most part of the old Botanical Garden at the Lange Nieuwstraat in Utrecht. Pulle’s address still merits reading. The printed version, in Dutch, was handed out after the delivery of the address. In case Pulle actually read the complete text, this must have taken some ninety minutes. I shall not take that long and I also do not plan to hand you a printed version at the end of the ceremony. Even so I would like to use this opportunity to tell you something about this ”heritage”, and about the herbarium and its use as well as about the history of our institution. The use of the term ”stocktaking of our forefathers’ heritage” goes back to the Dutch agronomist and botanist Willem Frederik van Eeden, who, in his capacity as director of our first ”Colonial Museum” wrote a paper in 1896 in the ”Indische Mercuur”: ”What are the goals of science in the Netherlands? Contributing its mite towards the general structure of science; the diligent research with respect to our incompletely known colonies; the stocktaking .....”. W.F. van Eeden was also founder of what was later called the ”Van Eeden-fonds for botanical research in Suriname and the West-Indian islands”. Thanks to this fund our institute could publish its Flora of Suriname and organize numerous exploratory activities in those territories.