Nagasaki University Library [Mansvelt Collection]

Japanese Version
Japanese Version

van Mansvelt Album

Nagasaki University began as a medical school at the West Nagasaki Magistrate's Office at Nagasaki Bugyosho on November 12, 1857. The medical school moved to Koshima and became both a hospital and medical school. In 1865 its name was changed to Seitokukan. During the Meiji Restoration, its name was first changed to Nagasaki Prefecture Medical School in 1868, then to Nagasaki Prefecture Hospital and Medical School in 1869, and finally, in 1871, to the Nagasaki School of Medicine under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.
Three foreigners were appointed to the school during the period; Johannes Lijdius Catherinus Pompe van Meerdervoort was the school's first professor from 1857 to 1862, followed by Anthonius Franciscus Bauduin from 1862 to 1870, and finally by Constant George van Mansvelt who stayed from 1866 to 1879. Van Mansvelt (1832-1912) stayed in Nagasaki for nearly five years before moving on first to Kumamoto Medical School (present day Kumamoto University), then to Kyoto Prefectural Hospital (present day Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine), and then to Osaka Prefectural Hospital (present day Osaka University) to help advance early medical education in Japan.
Nagasaki University Library put together the Bauduin Album in 2007. This time in 2011, we were fortunate to obtain images from the Mansvelt Album thanks to Ms. Ellen Beatrice van Mansvelt, a fourth generation descendant of Constant van Mansvelt. The album consists of two books bound in the Japanese style with silk Japanese pattern covers. The covers have paper hearts attached to them with the words, 'Japan' and 'China Burman and British Indie.' A total of 97 images (small, medium, and large) were taken from the book called 'Japan' (310 x 465 x 25mm) by Nagasaki University.

education in Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Era, but also into the beginning of the Cultural Enlightenment in Japan.


<From the descendants>

From Mr. Constant Friso van Mansvelt on February 9, 2015, his 96th birthday:
"I am impressed that you are keeping the memory of my grandfather alive. I was born in 1919 and my grandfather died in 1912 so I didn't know him. I am grateful to my daughter Ellen that she found out so much about the life of Constant George van Mansvelt via the internet. I was surprised to learn so many details about what he was doing in Japan, as a doctor and as a teacher of medicine."

From Ms. Ellen Beatrice van Mansvelt
"I grew up in a home filled with beautiful 18th and 19th Century Japanese works of art which my great grandfather brought back with him when he returned to The Netherlands. Being surrounded with such meticulously crafted works like inlaid lacquer boxes, fine painted porcelains, bronze vessels and statues, I gained early on a great appreciation for Japanese culture. Although I never met C.G. van Mansvelt in person, he had a strong presence in our household, as there was a portrait of him hanging on the wall and my grandmother loved telling stories about him. I would love to some day visit Japan and some of the places depicted in those old photographs and see how much they have changed."


Constant van Mansvelt (1832-1912)