Around 1950, the early years of electron microscopy in the Netherlands,the first users of electron microscopes were in a whole new field and there were many problems related to tools and preparation techniques. Therefore the users of this new microscopy technique had a strong need for regular contact.
On July 1, 1952 14 electron microscopists came together in the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam and founded an association for electron microscopists. The first elected board consisted of Le Poole (chairman), Van Dorsten (Vice Chairman), Wiebenga (secretary), Bretschneider (treasurer) and Van Iterson (secretary for international affairs).
In 1958, the association changed its name to: Dutch Society for Electron Microscopy (NVEM). Prompted by the many developments in the field of microscopy such as confocal microscopy and scanning probe microscopy the NVEM changed its name in 1995: Dutch Society for Microscopy (NVvM).
The association has three working groups:
1. Rastertechnieken and Microscopy
2. Cryo workgroup
3. Confocale Scanning Laser Microscopy
The association used to organise two meetings a year. In the spring a one-day meeting, usually at a company that uses microscopic techniques. In the autumn, a two-day scientific conference with an exhibition of companies which was usually attended by 150 to 200 participants. Regularly the autumn meeting is organized every two years in cooperation with the Belgian Society for Microscopy, rich variety in the Netherlands and Belgium.
In addition, the working groups organize several specialist meetings per year in various areas related to microscopy (TEM, SEM, LM, AFM, STM, CLSM, etc.).
In the past, the association has organised the 2nd and the 7th European Congress on Electron Microscopy respectively in Delft (1960) and The Hague (1980). In 1978, the Society to promote Electron Microscopy (SEN) was founded in the Netherlands. When applications allow every year the SEN price is awarded to an (electron) microscopist, younger than 35 years, in the Netherlands, for an outstanding contribution in the field of (electron) microscopy.
The Dutch Society for Microscopy is a dynamic organization with members from different areas: universities, small and large businesses, and public institutions. Since its establishment, the association of great importance for all members from the different scientific disciplines.