Overview of the newspaper collection

  • Contents: the KB’s collection of printed newspapers.
  • Size: more than 3.500 titles, accounting for millions of newspaper pages.
  • Access: the collection can be found via the newspaper catalogue and the KB catalogue. The printed newspapers can be viewed in the KB's Special Collections reading room. They cannot be lent out. Much of this collection has also been digitised and can be found on Delpher.
  • More informationHuibert Crijns.

Contents of the newspaper collection

The KB has the largest collection of newspapers in the Netherlands. The newspaper collection consists mostly of Dutch newspapers – from the oldest newspapers from the early 17th century to all national and regional dailies from yesterday. There are also several major foreign newspapers in the collection. This collection allows us to study the news of the past and helps us learn more about the history of the newspaper.

History of the newspaper collection

The KB has existed since 1798 and we have been collecting newspapers ever since then. The collection is large, but not complete. At first, only government newspapers, such as the Staatscourant, and major newspapers were collected. The collection of newspapers has become more extensive since the second half of the 19th century. Since 1974, the KB has collected all newspapers except for free local/community papers. We also still try to collect the very oldest newspapers from the 17th and 18th centuries, for example through auctions or donations. Many of the newspapers have now been digitised and a smaller portion of the collection is available on microfilm.

Accessibility of the newspaper collection

The newspaper collection can be found in several ways. All digitised newspapers can be found on Delpher. The collection is also included in the KB catalogue. The newspaper catalogue has the printed newspaper titles in the KB in alphabetical order. From these catalogues, you can request issues for viewing in the KB. If that is not possible, you will be redirected to the digital copy on Delpher.

Not always complete

Newspapers are not made to last for eternity. A newspaper is for reading immediately and then for wrapping the fish, stuffing it into your wet shoes or using it to light the stove. Over time, many newspapers have disappeared as a result, which is why many newspaper titles are incomplete.

Literature about the newspaper collection


  • Weduwen, A. der. Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century, 1618-1700. Brill, 2017.
  • Wijfjes, H. De krant: een cultuurgeschiedenis. Boom, 2019.
  • Schneider, M. & Hemels, J. De Nederlandse krant 1618-1978: van “nieuwstydinghe” tot dagblad. Het Wereldvenster, 1979.