Buchel was the illegitimate child of a Canon of the St. Peter's Church in Utrecht. He studied in Leiden for several months, but in 1585 he continued his studies in France, where he made contacts with other learned men who were interested by Roman ruins, inscriptions and writings. He travelled to Rome, where he wrote down numerous interesting facts and information about buildings, inscriptions and art. In 1588 he returned to Utrecht.
In response to the demolishing of buildings and destruction of works of art after the Protestant Reformation, van Buchel started writing and drawing threatened inscriptions, tombstones, arms boards and other noteworthy items with the aim of preserving their memory before they were lost to the destruction. The only remaining drawings and description of the lost St. Salvator's Church in Utrecht were made by van Buchel. He put together a number of manuscripts that, together, form a treasure of immeasurable worth for research into lost buildings and inventories.
Buchel hardly published anything during his life. His book about the bishops of Utrecht, published posthumously, is still seen as a standard work on the subject. During his life he was a respected scholar, and with Petrus Scriverius one of the first antiquaries of the Netherlands.
Page from the Monumenta by Aernout van Buchel (source: The Utrecht Archive)
Perhaps his most lengthy work, his diary, or Diarium was first published in 1907 The transcription in Latin is "Commentarius rerum quotidianarum, in quo, praeter itinera diversarum regionum, urbium, oppidorumque situs, antiquitates, principes, instituta, mores, multa eorum quae tam inter publicos quam privatos contingere solent, occurrent exempla"