Remarkable Objects from the Collection of the KB

The KB tries to preserve everything that has been written in or about the Netherlands, but our collection also includes some fairly remarkable objects. The Remarkable Objects series highlights a few of these unexpected gems.

What do Jan van Speijk’s jacket, the KB’s oldest book, ‘German war propaganda and an invisible book have in common? They are all stored in our repository. In the Remarkable objects series, our collection specialists tell you why these objects are so special.

We will be publishing a new part of this 5-part series every week, so keep an eye on this page! 

Part 1: the oldest book in the KB

The KB’s collection includes lots of old books, but obviously, only one book can be the oldest. The oldest book in our collection is a compilation of texts about the Bible, and it’s over 1200 years old. But there was also room for fun between all these serious texts: the compilation includes a poem about the joys of overindulging in alcohol.

Go to part 1 of the Remarkable objects series: The oldest book in the KB.

Part 2: a children's Braille picture book

Stories that you can feel: that’s the basis of the series published by the PrentenboekenPlus foundation. This foundation makes versions of well-known picture books that feature tactile pictures for children to feel. The stories also have Braille subtitles. The books enable children between 4 and 8 years old with impaired sight or hearing to enjoy ‘reading’ picture books. The KB has all 18 titles from this series in its collection. One of them is Lodewijk I koning der schapen. Not only is the story in this book tactile, but the set also includes a woolly toy sheep.

Go to part 2 of the Remarkable objects series: Lodewijk I koning der schapen.

Part 3: The Invisible Book

This is a book that you can’t see or touch, but which really does exist. So what’s the secret? The Invisible Book is an artists’ book. These are books made by one or more artists. This one is not a tangible book, but the idea of a book. People can read what they want into it. 

Go to part 3 of the Remarkable objects series: The Invisible Book.

Part 4: Der Kampf im Westen

Der Kampf im Westen is a German propaganda book from World War II. But it’s more than that: the cover features a collection of stereoscopic photos, which you can see in 3D by donning special glasses. History is literally given an extra dimension. 

Go to part 4 of the Remarkable objects series: Der Kampf im Westen.

Deel 5: Remains of Jan van Speijk's uniform

"I'd rather blow her up!" The story goes that this was Naval Lieutenant Commander Jan van Speijk's reaction when his ship was overpowered by Belgian rebel forces. Pieces of Van Speijk's uniform remained and can be viewed in our collection.

Go to part 5 of the Remarkable Objects series: Remains of Jan van Speijk's uniform.