Table of contents

Overview of special book designs collection (19th century to present)

  • Contents: extensive collection of special editions from the 19th century to the present day: photo books, bibliophile editions, provo publications, war publications, commissioned copies and deluxe editions.
  • Size: more than 50.000 volumes.
  • Access: can be found via the KB catalogue. Available for inspection in the Special Collections reading room; cannot be lent out.
  • More informationPaul van Capelleveen.

About the special book designs collection (19th century to present)

The KB’s special book designs collection from the 19th century onwards consists of different types of editions. It includes bibliophile and private press editions, artists’ books, large plate books, books with hand-coloured illustrations, books with unique printing or illustration techniques, books printed in small editions, photo books and books that were once banned, such as erotica. It concerns editions from 1801 to the present day. As well as Dutch publications, the collection includes many German, English, French and American editions.

Background of the collection

In 1983, we decided to bring together rare and precious works from the 19th and 20th centuries that were scattered throughout the KB’s general repositories in the Special Collections repository. The collection continues to grow – through the acquisition of works, and also because publishers offer their new editions.

Accessibility of the collection

The books can be found in the KB catalogue. View them in the Special Collections reading room. We also organise presentations for groups on request.



  • Wolf, C. de. ‘Negentiende en twintigste eeuw’. Nederlandse boeken uit eigen bezit. KB, 1982, pp. 28-45.
  • Wolf, C. de. ‘Gedrukte werken uit de negentiende en twintigste eeuw’. Accoord CR. KB, 1986, pp. 130-150.


  • Capelleveen, P. van & Wolf, C. de (red.). Het ideale boek. Honderd jaar private press in Nederland, 1910-2010. Vantilt/KB, 2010.
  • Zoete, J. de (red.). De techniek van de Nederlandse boekillustratie in de 19e eeuw. Koninklijk Verbond Grafische Ondernemingen (KVGO), 1995.