Dutch Books in Translation (NBIV)

Table of contents

An overview of the Dutch Books in Translation collection (NBIV)

About the Dutch Books in Translation collection (NBIV)

The NBIV collection (Nederlands Boek in Vertaling, Dutch Books in Translation) contains translations of originally Dutch books into other languages. The NBIV collection is part of the KB's “Netherlands” collection, “Everything from and about the Netherlands”. We actively search for translations in cooperation with the Dutch Foundation for Literature, with an emphasis on language, literature, culture and history. The collection consists largely of works published from the 1960s onwards, but also contains older translations.

One of the oldest translations in the KB is Bezauberte Welt (1693), a 1691 translation of Balthasar Bekker's De betoverde weereld (The Enchanted World). From World War I onwards, the number of translations from Dutch increased sharply. The number of translations stagnated for a while after World War II, but large numbers began to be produced again from 1980 onwards. In 1993, the Netherlands was the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which provided a major boost for translations of Dutch works. Since then, about 500 translations from Dutch have been published every year.

History of the Dutch Books in Translation collection (NBIV)

The KB has actively searched for translations of Dutch works since 1968, when the library and Stichting voor Vertalingen (the Foundation for Translations) were given joint responsibility for the “Bibliography of Dutch Books in Translation”. This bibliography was published in the Flemish-Dutch magazine Ons Erfdeel annually from 1964 to 2005, as well as in five-yearly cumulative volumes. In 2005, the KB ceased to work on the bibliography, and its duties were taken over by the Foundation for Translations, now the Dutch Foundation for Literature. To help carry out its task, the foundation manages the translation database.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature subsidises translations of Dutch-language works and ensures that copies of these publications end up in the KB. In addition, the KB actively seeks out unsubsidised and older translations.

Origin of the Dutch Books in Translation collection (NBIV)

The exact origin of the collection is not known, although it is likely related to the national library's beginnings as the people's representatives’ library from 1798 onwards. What we do know is that the collection has been in the KB's possession since the 19th century.

Accessibility of the Dutch Books in Translation collection (NBIV)

The books in the Dutch Books in Translation Collection can be found via the KB catalogue. They cannot be lent out, but they are available for inspection in the reading room. Old and rare translations must be inspected in the Special Collections reading room.

Literature about the collection NBIV (In Dutch)