Oosterbaan collection: Dutch-language Karl May books

Overview of the Oosterbaan collection

Het goud van Winnetou / Karl May; adapted from the English edition by Jan van Henegouwen. - [Antwerpen: Van Gelder], [1948].

  • Contents: collection of Dutch-language Karl May books dating from 1886-2006, gifted by Mr Joan C. Oosterbaan. The books are part of the children's books collection
  • Size: 648 volumes
  • Access: descriptions can be found via the Centraal Bestand Kinderboeken (Central Database of Children’s Books). Search for “Collectie Joan C. Oosterbaan”. The books can be inspected in the KB’s Special Collections reading room. 
  • More informationKarin Vingerhoets

Contents of the Oosterbaan collection

The KB's Oosterbaan collection comprises 648 Dutch-language Karl May books dating from 1886-2006. They were provided to the library from the estate of Mr Oosterbaan. It is the most complete collection of Dutch-language editions of Karl May's works ever assembled.

Background information about the collection

Part of the Oosterbaan collection, seen in his home. 

The German writer Karl May (1842-1912) is best known for his books about Old Shatterhand and Winnetou in the Wild West, as well as his stories about Kara Ben Nemsi and Hadji Halef Omar in the Middle East. The first Dutch translation was published in 1882, and Karl May's works continue to be reprinted to this day, 140 years later. 

In July 2008, the KB received a very substantial collection of Dutch-language editions of Karl May's works. It was a bequest (legacy) from collector Joan C. Oosterbaan, who passed away on 21 June 2008. Mr Oosterbaan read Karl May's The Treasure of Silver Lake as a child, and the book left a lasting impression on him. He began collecting everything by Karl May, eventually building up an impressive collection. Oosterbaan also sought out information about the various series and publisher's editions, as well as the original German texts, recording his findings in a number of reference works. He also contacted other admirers and collectors, which led to the foundation of the Karl May Society in 2006.

The Oosterbaan collection is of value to those interested in Karl May's works, but also to researchers of Dutch book history in general. Oosterbaan's collection and research offer a detailed overview of publishing practices in the Netherlands and Belgium in the 20th century.

How to view the Oosterbaan collection

Portrait of Karl May in sepia. From: Karl May: imaginäre Reisen : eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Historischen Museums, Berlin vom 31. August 2007 bis 6. Januar 2008 / hrsg. von Sabine Beneke und Johannes Zeilinger. - Berlin: DHM, 2007.

The descriptions of the books in this collection can be found in the Centraal Bestand Kinderboeken (Central Database of Children's Books) using the search function “all words” and searching for: “Collectie Joan C. Oosterbaan”. KB members can request the books via the KB catalogue and inspect them in the KB’s Special Collections reading room. The books are not available digitally (yet). 

The books and reference works in the Oosterbaan collection cannot be lent out and taken home. However, libraries and museums can apply for loans for exhibition purposes.

Literature (In Dutch)

  • J.C. Oosterbaan en F.C. Roest, Karl May, de 'verschreven' schrijver: bewerking en receptie in Nederland. Krabbendijke: Van Velzen 2006.
  • J.C. Oosterbaan, Karl May-boeken zoeken in alle hoeken: de 21 zeldzaamste in Nederland. Krabbendijke: Van Velzen 2005. Verslag van een zoektocht naar zeldzame Nederlandse Karl May-boeken uit de periode 1886-1920.
  • J.C. Oosterbaan, F.C. Roest, Karl May's Bonanza van boeken bij Becht. Krabbendijke: Van Velzen 2002. Dit naslagwerk biedt een overzicht van de tussen 1907 en 1985 bij uitgeverij Becht verschenen Karl Mayboeken.
  • J.C. Oosterbaan en F.C. Roest, Karl May verzamelaars compendium. [S.l. : s.n.] 2002. Compendium bij ‘Een ketting van boeken’ uit 1999.
  • J.C. Oosterbaan, Een ketting van boeken. Krabbendijke: Van Velzen 1999. Naslagwerk met een bibliografisch karakter, over de boeken van Karl May die in Nederland en in het Nederlands zijn verschenen.