Overview of the Hegel-Bolland collection

  • Contents: the collection consists of Bolland’s manuscripts, rare printed books, books with handwritten annotations by Bolland and pieces from Van der Harst, a student of Bolland.
  • Size: about 1.250 books, magazines, reprints of newspaper articles, lecture notes, letters and two manuscripts.
  • Access: can be found via the KB catalogue.
  • More informationHuibert Crijns

About Gerard Bolland

Gerard Bolland (1854-1922) was a Dutch philosopher and lecturer. He was responsible for the renewed interest in studying the forgotten German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) in the Netherlands. Bolland was famous and controversial. His undemocratic ideas are considered an inspiration for early Dutch fascism in the 1920s and 30s.

Bolland's student Van der Harst

Jan Jacob van der Harst (1881-1917) was one of Bolland’s students. While studying medicine, he also took lectures from Bolland and was thus introduced to the German philosopher Hegel. Van der Harst compiled a collection of Hegel between 1906 and 1917, when he worked as a doctor in Loosduinen.

Contents of the Hegel-Bolland collection

The Hegel-Bolland collection consists of a number of components:

  1. a collection of manuscripts by Gerard Bolland, mainly notes for lectures and readings. This includes the important manuscript Zuivere rede in hare toepasselijkheid op leven, ziel en geest (Pure reason in its applicability to life, soul and mind) from 1904.
  2. a collection of books, mainly German, Italian, Polish and Swedish 19th-century antiquarian Hegelianism acquired by Bolland. This includes some very rare editions. Around 80 books also contain notes by Bolland.
  3. the collection of his student Jan Jacob van der Harst. This collection includes dictation and notes taken by Van der Harst during readings and lectures given by Bolland. There is also a collection of books on Hegel and Hegelianism, including Dutch neo-Hegelianism inspired by Bolland. You will also find his notes on books and magazine articles he has read, some (draft) letters by and to him, and a collection of articles by the philosopher and teacher Klaas Johan Pen (1875-1932), including the 1915 dissertation Over het onderscheid tusschen de wetenschap van Hegel en de wijsheid van Bolland (On the distinction between the science of Hegel and the wisdom of Bolland). Van der Harst had contributed to this controversial thesis, which sharply criticised Bolland's thinking.

Origin of the Hegel-Bolland collection

The Hegel-Bolland Collection comes from two collectors: Gerard Bolland himself, and his student Dr Jan Jacob van der Harst. The Van der Harst collection was acquired after his death by the Hague chapter of the Genootschap voor zuivere Rede (Society for Pure Reason). This society was founded in 1912 as a national association of enthusiastic practitioners of Hegel's philosophy. After Van der Harst’s untimely death, the society decided to purchase his Hegel collection. After mediation by Bolland himself, they donated it to the KB.

The 1918 KB annual report includes a catalogue of the Van der Harst collection. One hundred reprints of this were made for the members of the Haagse Bolland-Genootschap (The Hague Bolland Society). The collection was added to by Bolland himself in 1919, with a donation of books and offprints from his own library.

Access to the Hegel-Bolland collection

The collection can be accessed via the KB catalogue.

Literature about the Hegel-Bolland collection

  • Boek. Otterspeer, Willem.  ‘Bolland : een biografie’. 1995, Amsterdam
  • Link. Profiel over G.J.P.J. Bolland op de website van de KB: Gerard Bolland
  • Link. Levensbeschrijving Bolland in de Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren
  • Link. Meer levensbeschrijvingen via het Biografisch Portaal
  • Link. Boeken, kranten, tijdschriften en radiobulletins op Delpher
  • Link. G.J.P.J. Bolland via Het Geheugen
  • Link. G.J.P.J. Bolland bij Wikipedia
  • Artikel. 'Verzameling van Van der Harst'. In: Verslag der Koninklijke Bibliotheek over 1918. 's-Gravenhage : Belinfante, 1919, p. 176-225. Van deze catalogus zijn 100 aparte overdrukken gemaakt onder de titel: Hegel-Bolland : verzameling van J.J. van der Harst : geschonken door G.J.P.J. Bolland aan de Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Den Haag, 1919.
  • Artikel. 'Geschenk van Bolland'. In: Verslag der Koninklijke Bibliotheek over 1919. 's-Gravenhage : Belinfante, 1920, p. VI en p. 38-71.
  • Boek. Catalogus der schenking-Bolland aan de bibliotheek der rijks-universiteit te Leiden. Amsterdam, 1925, 180 p.
  • Artikel. 'Catalogus van de bibliotheek der Bolland-Stichting'. In: De Idee 14 (1936), p. [230]-275; 16 (1938), p. [169]-179; en 19 (1941), p. 253-272.
  • Artikel. 'J.J. van der Harst, psychiater 1881-1917'. G.J.P.J. Bolland, filosoof 1854-1922. In: Verzamelaars en verzamelingen. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 1789-1998. Zwolle : Waanders, 1998, p. 89-92.