Launch of The Tinco Project – a singular quest for the enigmatic Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt (1837-1900)


Tinco Lycklama (1837-1900) - par Emile Vernet-Lecomte
Tinco Martinus Lycklama à Nijeholt (1837-1900) – par Emile Vernet-Lecomte

Cannes/Amsterdam, 03/03/2016 —– Today, volunteers in France and The Netherlands formally launched The Tinco Project. This open research project will focus exclusively on a singular personality who lived in the second half of the 19th century – Tinco Martinus Lycklama à Nijeholt (Beetsterzwaag (NL), 1837 – Cannes (F), 1900). The objective of the project is to discover, explore and document this enigmatic aristocrat, who did some remarkable things but left virtually no trace in the history books. The Tinco Project aims to raise broader interest for Lycklama. It also seeks to highlight how public involvement in open research can spark enthusiasm for the Humanities and contribute to collective knowledge.

Tinco Lycklama was an aristocrat born into a wealthy family of patrician landowners, in the Dutch province of Frisia. Early on, the young Tinco took an interest in the history and cultures of the Middle East. At the age of 27, he left for a solitary travel to the Orient – via Russia and the Caucasus – lasting over three years. Upon his return he set off to publish his diaries (in French), which resulted in over 2,200 pages spread over four volumes. He also brought along over 700 artefacts, around which he built a museum in Beetsterzwaag (NL). Because of this, Tinco Lycklama may be considered as one of the first Dutch orientalists.

In the meantime, Tinco had taken a strong liking to Cannes, the burgeoning French mediterranean resort where an increasing number of aristocrats and wealthy families from across Europe chose to spend the winter season – in the footsteps of the English Chancellor, Lord Brougham. In 1872, Tinco thus moved his museum to Cannes, where he would spend most of the rest of his life. In 1877, he donated his collection of artefacts to the city’s municipality; this collection marks the birth of the municipal museum of Cannes – where it is still the highlight of the collection. Tinco also became a most welcome guest in the local “high society” – who was most avid to attend Tinco’s famous “bals masqués”.

Despite the resonance of Tinco Lycklama’s name (and his generosity) in both Frisia and Cannes, the details of his life remain largely unknown. The Tinco Project aims to correct that – appealing in the process to open collaboration between scholars and volunteer citizens. Thanks to the increasing digital availability of archives, books and objects, source documents and information are ever more accessible to internet users. The project seeks to highlight how online collaboration can, indeed, contribute to collective knowledge in the Humanities.

The Tinco Project will be an open-ended, living project that will evolve over time. From a communication and collaboration perspective, it operates through a dedicated web site ( combined with a Facebook page (à-Nijeholt-1042159302471108). The initiators are physically based in Amsterdam and Cannes.

Contact : Per e-mail


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