Alkmaar, Regional Archive
The library of the Alkmaar Regional Archive comprises around 50.000 books. The main emphasis lies in the field of the history of the province Noord-Holland and Alkmaar. The library also contains the collection of the old Alkmaar town library and an interesting collection of almanacs. About 2.500 works from the archive have been described in the STCN. (website Regional Archive)
To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Regional Archive.
Amsterdam, University Library
The department special collections of the university library comprises an impressive collection of works from before 1800. About 119.000 of those have been added to the STCN. Among the works described are important collections such as the one from Artis, the clerical collections, the book-historical collections and a large medical collection. (website University Library)
Amsterdam, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica J.R. Ritman Library
The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica possesses a large specialized collection in the field of the Hermetic tradition and, mostly Christian, allied movements. The library started out as a private collections of the businessman Joost R. Ritman, but is open to the public. The library contains circa 5.000 old and rare books, of which around 800 have been described in the STCN. Part of the collection belongs to the Dutch government and is deposited at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (see for more information here (in Dutch)). (website Ritman Library)
To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica.
Amsterdam, Elsevier Heritage Collection
The Elsevier Heritage Collection (EHC) was founded in 1967 as the private collection of Elsevier Science Publishers. Since 2011 the EHC is open to researchers in the company’s Amsterdam office, by appointment only. The library contains about 1500 titles of which most were published by the Elzevier family (1580-1712) in Leiden and Amsterdam. Because the books have been collected according to Alphonse Willems’s bibliography Les Elzevier: Histoire et Annales Typographiques (1880), the EHC also contains a variety of Elzevier imitations from countries other than the Netherlands. Since these are not always included in the scope of the STCN, they can be found through Elsevier’s own catalogue. Visiting address: Radarweg 29, 1043NX, Amsterdam. Sjors de Heuvel (alt. Ylann Schemm) may be reached for an appointment. (website EHC)
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Research Library
The reading rooms of the library can be found in the main building of the Rijksmuseum. As a scholarly art historical in-house library with storage function, the library has, since 1885, a constant and high quality acquisition policy. The collection contains around 450,000 items of which circa 60,000 auction catalogues and 4,500 periodicals. An important loan is the library of the Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap (KOG) of 8,125 items which includes the collection of the Schutterij en Burgerbewapening (militia). Over 5,100 books from the collection have been described in the STCN. (website library)
Amsterdam, Vereniging Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
The library of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde has a small but interesting collection of books on the history of medicine. (website NTVG)
Amsterdam, VU University Library
The special collections department of the library of the VU University in Amsterdam contains c. 70,000 items. Around 30,500 of these have been added to the STCN-database. The special collections are specifically centered around the field of protestant theology. Items meeting the STCN-criteria from the collection of the Bilderdijk-museum, housed in the university library, have also been described. (website University Library)
Delft, University Library
The department of special collections, the Trésor, of the Delft University of Technology consists of books, atlases, maps, journals and drawings. The emphasis of the collections lies on technical-scientific literature, more particularly in the field of architecture, mining and (civil) engineering. About 3,400 books from the collection have been described in the STCN. (website University Library)
Deventer, Athenaeum Library
The Deventer Athenaeum Library holds special manuscripts, incunables, postincunables and early printed books. In all, about 3,300 printed books from the collection have been added to the STCN-database. To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Athenaeum Library.
Gouda, Regional Archive Midden-Holland
The Regional Archive Midden-Holland in Gouda does not only hold unique archive material but also has a fine library. The emphasis of the collection is on the history of the region. A special place in the library is occupied by the collection of the Gouda Stadslibrije [Municipal Library]. In all 4,000 printed works from the archive have been included in the STCN. (website Streekarchief) To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Regional Archive.
Groningen, University Library
The basis for the collection of the University of Groningen was already laid in the beginning of the seventeenth century. The earliest catalogue of the collection dates from 1619. Accordingly, the collection includes works on miscellaneous fields of science. Especially noteworthy is the collection of books printed in Groningen. Well over 11,000 of these have been included in the STCN. (website Universiteitsbibliotheek) To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the University Library.
Den Haag, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands
The national library has a large number of items in its special collections, among them medieval manuscripts, incunabula, post-incunabula and early printed books, but also modern special and valuable publications. The collection early printed books comprises over 155,000 editions. Around 83,000 of these have been printed in the Netherlands or were published in the Dutch language and are therefore to be found in the STCN. Among these 83,000 copies the Scheurleer songbook collection, the Waller collection of occasional publications and the ‘Knuttel’ pamphlets.
Over the years, several webexpositions have been made by the STCN.
Den Haag, Municipal Archives
The Municipal Archives of The Hague have holdings of around 71,000 books. The emphasis of the collection is on the history of The Hague and the surrounding area. About fifteen per cent of the collection has been printed before 1800. An intensive cooperation between personnel of the archives and members of the STCN-team has led to the addition of 8200 items from the archives to the STCN. (website Gemeentearchief) To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Municipal Archives.
Den Haag, Museum Meermanno
The original collection of Museum Meermanno in The Hague has been collected by W.H.J. van Westreenen van Tiellandt and his nephew Johan Meerman. After the death of Van Westreenen in 1848, the collectie became state-owned. Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum still adds to the collection with books about the history of the book. More than 8,00 books from the museum collection can be found in the STCN. (website Museum Meermanno)
To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of Museum Meermanno.
Den Haag, Netherlands Music Institute
The Netherlands Music Institute (NMI) is the central institution for the preservation of the musical heritage of the Netherlands. The collection contains a large collection of older material, predominately essays on music and printed music. Around 2000 works from the collection have been described in the STCN. (website Muziek Instituut) To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Music Institute.
Den Haag, Peace Palace Library
The Peace Palace library possesses one of the largest collections in the world (1 million volumes) pertaining to the field of international public and private law. The library also collects works in the fields of: diplomatic history, history of law, and comparative law. The Peace Palace Library has the world famous Grotius Collection, which plays an important part in research into Hugo Grotius, the "Father of International Law". This unique collection comprises not only his works on law, but also his religious, philosophical, poetical and philological works.
The library was founded in 1913 and is part of the Carnegie Foundation, the organisation which is responsible for the maintenance of the historical building of the Peace Palace in the Hague since 1913. Important users of the library are the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, the Permanent Court of Arbritration (both residing in the Peace Palace), and the international courts and tribunals in The Hague. The library collection is freely accessible to researches (proof of identification required). (website Peace Palace Library)
Den Haag, Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (House of Representatives)
The library of the House of Representatives contains c. 30,000 books concerning government and administration, constitutional law and parliamentary history. The library came into existence as a working library for the members of the House of Representatives after the introduction of the two-chamber system in 1815. From July 1816 newly acquired books were noted in the Actions of the House of Representatives almost on a weekly basis.
The collection contains c. 2500 rare books, parts of which were possibly inherited from earlier collections present on the Binnenhof, such as the collection of the Hof van Holland (High Court of the provinces of Holland) and the library of the Hoge Raad (Supreme Court). Another part of the rare books has been acquired in the nineteenth century through gifts and legacies by various Representatives.
Descriptions of all Dutch impressions in the library of the House of Representatives from before 1801 have been entered into the STCN, among them a hundred unique copies, mainly from the 18th century and concerned with tax and collective expenditure. (website)
Haarlem, Enschedé Museum
The Enschedé Museum actually contains the private archive of the Enschedé family of printers who have been active in Haarlem since the seventeenth century. The family was keen on preserving everything, so that practically nothing was thrown out. Shopping lists, copperplates, type-metal, all have been preserved. The museum has also holdings of works published by the family themselves, such as Bibles and type specimens. About 1,000 printed books from the museum have been included in the STCN. (website Enschedé Museum)
Haarlem, Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap (Dutch Bible Society)
The library of the Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap (NBG) contains a large number of Bible editions in various languages, of which editions from the Early-Modern period (1477-1800) form an important part. From the same period, the library possesses print bibles, biblical histories, geographical works, encyclopedic works, retold bible stories, dramatic works, and works in verse and editions for children. Among them publications with hand-coloured illustrations, such as the Mortier Bible from 1700 with over 400 illustrations by various artists, a Biestkens Bible from 1598 with coloured prints by Karel van Mander as well as coloured maps by Johannes van Deutecom, and hand-coloured bible prints by Jan Luyken from 1712. the collection holds a number of unique books, such as an Emden New Testament from 1563, an Antwerp New Testament printed by Simon de Cock from 1558, but also edition of the Statenbijbel (Authorized version) not otherwise known. The most important Dutch Bibles from the Early-Modern period (available in the NBG-collection), from the Delft bibel (1477) up to the Lutheran bibel by Visscher (1648) have been digitised, provided with a transcription and made available and searchable up to the level of individual verses at www.bijbelsdigitaal.nl. The STCN contains around 650 editions from the collection of the NBG. (website Bijbelgenootschap)
Haarlem, Municipal Library
The Haarlem Municipal Library holds a fine collection of early printed books and manuscripts. Especially in the field of Haarlem printing the library contains many unique copies. In all about 11,000 copies from the Municipal Library have been included in the STCN. The rare book collection has been deposited at the Noord-Hollands Archief (website Noord-Hollands Archief)
To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of the Municipal Library.
The Tresoar Library in Leeuwarden holds an extensive collection, the focus of which is on the history of the province of Friesland. In the STCN about 4,800 works printed in Friesland from the Tresoar Library have been included. (website Tresoar)
To mark the completion of the STCN-project, a number of libraries have made an online exhibition of noteworthy books (in Dutch). See the webexposition of Tresoar.
Leiden, University Library
The Leiden University Library holds one of the greatest collections of early printed works in the Netherlands. The total number is estimated about 150,000. In addition, there are about 720 incunables. The focus of the collection is on books printed in Leiden and on the history of the University of Leiden. From this rich collection about 92,200 copies were suitable to be included in the STCN. Among these are items from the collection of the Bibliotheca Thysiana. (website University Library)
Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
The library of Naturalis Biodiversity Center consists of the collections of the former Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie (Museum of Natural History) and the Rijksmuseum van Geologie en Mineralogie (Museum of Geology and Mineralogy). The collection contains several thousand rare books in the field of zoology, geology and botany; the Dutch section of the collection is in the process of being added to the STCN. Emphasis in the collection has been put on taxonomy, whaling and nature in the Netherlands.
Special attention deserves the Bibliotheca Carcinologica. The library, collected by carcinologist and former curator Lipke Holthuis (1921-2008), is, as far as known, the largest collection in the field of crustaceans (Crustacea) in the world. Among the ca. thousand rare books, major works by famous naturalists can be found as well as several unique scientific publications from the very beginning of modern zoology. (website Naturalis Biodiversity Center)
Middelburg, Zeeuwse bibliotheek
The collection of early printed books of the Zeeuwse bibliotheek [Zeeland Library] comprises more than 32,000 items. Of special interest are the works printed in the province of Zeeland and the collection of occasional poetry. A selection of about 3,000 Middelburg copies has been included in the STCN. (website Zeeuwse Bibliotheek)
Nijmegen, University Library
The library of the Radboud University contains about 40,000 early printed works. A considerable part of the collection is of a theological nature. The library collects regionally printed matter in particular. (website University Library)
Rotterdam, Municipal Library
The Rotterdam Municipal Library holds more than 20,000 early printed books. The collection includes the holdings of the old Librije of the St. Laurenskerk and a large collection of works by Erasmus. Of special interest for the STCN was also the unique collection of books printed in Rotterdam. In all 3,000 Rotterdam copies have been included in the database. (website Municipal Library)
Tilburg, University Library
Tilburg University has a substantial collection of books of historical significance. In total, more than 50,000 editions from before 1851 .
The Brabant-Collection, owned by the Province Noord-Brabant, collects printed information about the history of Noord-Brabant including the history of the duchy Brabant. In 2011, it was celebrated that the Brabant-Collection had been associated with Tilburg University for 25 years. The collection began as collection of the Provinciaal Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen in Noord-Brabant, established on 8 April, 1837 in Den Bosch.
A special part of the Brabant-Collection are the more than 1000 Noord-Brabant editions from before 1801. It mainly pertains to editions from Den Bosch, Breda and Bergen op Zoom. When one considers that the total of the Brabantse book production from the years 1484 to 1800 is estimated to be around 2500 (including broadsheets, sief plano’s, ordinances and pamphlets), the collection's importance is self-evident. Tilburg owns the only copy known of many of these works.
The Brabant-Collection is also responsible for the maintenance of the special collections theology that also contains many unique items. The collection theology, part of the university library since 1 January 2006, includes two important component, namely the Haaren-collection and the collection of the Friars Minor Capuchin from Den Bosch. At the time of the founding of the theological faculty in 1967, the collection of the former seminary at Haaren was acquired. This collection is very special because it consist for the major part of the old collection of the Theological Faculty of the Catholic University Leuven. Anthonius van Gils (1758-1834) was a priest and professor of theology who studied and worked at the Catholic University Leuven. In 1797, he fled, with the library, from the oppression by the French via Tilburg to Den Bosch. In 1798, he established a seminary in Den Bosch, which was moved to the castle Nieuw-Herlaar near St. Michiels-Gestel that same year. Later, the school was continued in Haaren until its closure in 1967.
In 1935/1936, the collections old and rare books of the order of the Friars Minor Capuchin have been brought together from every capuchin monastery in the Netherlands under the management of the provincial capuchin authority in 's-Hertogenbosch. The collection consists of an accumulation of books that have been, more or less accidentely, ended up in one of the capuchin monasteries. The library of the Capachins was given to the theological faculty in 1975. In 1998, it was decided to also transfer the most valuable part of the collected. On Friday 8 december 2006, the official transfer of this last part took place.
The collection of books of the Brabant-Collection and the Tilburg collection of the School of Catholic Theology, founded on 1 January 2007, perhaps surprisingly, complement each other nicely. An example: the collection contains two works by Philippus van Hoeswinckel, Wonderlijcke openbaringhe vanden gheest van Elizabeth de Vos, geschiedt inde capelle van Onse Lieve Vrouwe van Goeden Wille tot Duffel, op den 21. octobris 1653; (Antwerp, 1654) and Onse L. Vrovwe van Dvffel dat is den oorspronck, voortganck ende miracvlen van haer miracvlevs beelt gevonde binne de baenderye van Dvffel onder Perwez den 14. Aug. Ao. 1637 (2nd impression, Antwerp, 1667). The first copy originates from the Haaren-collection of theology, the second copy is owned by the Brabant-Collection. In total, the combined collection consists of 150 incunabels and several hundreds postincunabels. (website University Library)
The University Library of Utrecht has in its holdings about 2,850 manuscripts, 100,000 letters and 2,000 volumes of lecture notes. The collection of early printed books comprises well over 130,000 works, of which about 62,000 have been included in the STCN. The focus of the collection is on religious works. The library contains the collections of several monastic libraries and also a specialist collection on the Old Catholic Church. (website University Library)
Short Title Catalogue Flanders
The STCV is the Flemish counterpart of the STCN. Although initially printed works from Belgium were excluded from the STCN project, a large number of these are in fact eligible for inclusion in the database. Through a conversion programme about 5,300 STCV titles have been included retrospectively in the STCN. (website STCV)
Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience
The origin of the Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience goes back to 1481, when town lawyer Willem Pauwels donated his collection of 41 manuscripts to the city of Antwerp. The collection grew steadily throughout the centuries. In the early nineteenth century, the books of the dissolved monastic libraries constituted an important acquisition and shortly after the independence of Belgium, the librarian F.H. Mertens developed a consistent collection policy, which is still adhered to. The collection comprises about 40,000 rare books, of which c. 10,000 are Dutch. The entire collection of 17th-century material has been processed by the Short Title Catalogus Vlaanderen, and the Dutch-language publications have henceforth been downloaded into the STCN. Besides those, several hundreds of publication printed in the Netherlands have also been added to the STCN. (website Erfgoedbibliotheek)
Paris, Fondation Custodia
The Fondation Custodia in Paris is in charge of the Frits Lugt Collection and has in its holdings about 2000 books printed before 1800. The focus of this part of the collection is on publications produced in the Low Countries from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, with a particular emphasis on illustrated works of the seventeenth century. Works can be consulted by appointment. (website & email address
Wolffenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek
The Herzog August Bibliothek contains one of the most famous princely libraries in Europe. Several successive dukes of Braunschweig contributed to the collection. The greatest collector was Duke August the Younger (1579-1666), after whom the present library has been named. After his death the library comprised more than 35,000 volumes, including a small number of early works printed in the Netherlands and works printed in the Dutch language. The STCN incorporates about 200 of the books from the period before 1700. (website Herzog August Bibliothek)
Cambridge, University Library
Cambridge University Library holds some 13,000 books printed in the Netherlands before 1801. The collection reflects the nature of early Anglo-Dutch relationships, both in the domain of economic and colonial competition, and in that of academic rivalry. The most valuable contribution of Cambridge University Library to the STCN is its magnificent collection of French-language materials, a significant number of which have a Dutch imprint.(website University Library)
London, British Library
The national library of the United Kingdom holds one of the largest and most impressive collections in the world. The library is especially known for its great treasures, such as the Magna Carta. It is less well known that the library also has a large collection of Flemish and Dutch early printed works. About 34,000 copies from the British Library have been included in the STCN. (website British Library)
London: Dr Williams’s Library
The library came into existence with the death of Daniel Williams, a Presbyterian minister, in 1716. It is still run by a private trust and consists of approximately 300,000 books, perhaps half of which are rare and/or unique works from the early modern period, including works of theology, sermons, and history but also containing surprising works of early mathematics, the history of languages, grammar, science, drama, exploration, travel, and early newspapers. Many of these were published in France, Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain – that is, not all are Protestant and several are Jewish in origin. DWL also has sets of books and manuscripts such as those of Richard Baxter (1615-91), Philip Doddridge (1702-1751), Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867) and George Henry Lewes (1817-78), the partner of George Eliot, among others. It also has over 300 portraits and a variety of early maps. Our website address is (website Dr. Williams's Library)
London, Dutch Church Austin Friars
The library of the Dutch Church in London was established in 1619, 70 years after the church itself was founded in Austin Friars. Parts of the collection, especially the valuable manuscripts, were transferred to the Guildhall Library, now the London Metropolitan Archives. The present collection consists of approximately 400 volumes, covering the 15th – 19th centuries. The majority of the works are theological, amongst them many Bibles, but there are works on church history, geography and history too. Around half of the books in the collection are from the Low Countries and can be found in the STCN. The collection can be consulted by appointment. (website Dutch Church)
London, Library of the Religious Society of Friends
The Library of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain is the repository for one of the most important collections in the world relating to Quakers, their history and thought, and topics in which Quakers have been active such as peace, anti-slavery and relief work.
Among the Library’s 80,000 books and pamphlets is a unique collection of 17th & 18th century Quaker and anti-Quaker material. In the mid-17th century a group of Quakers was established in the Netherlands and besides publishing their own works, the group was actively involved in translating, publishing and spreading texts by George Fox, William Penn, Stephen Crisp among other. There are over 200 such works, half of them unique which have been added to the STCN. Most are in Dutch, but a fair number in German, with some in Polish, Danish and Hebrew. (website Library of the Society of Friends)
London, University Library
The library of London University is situated in Senate House, Malet Street, London and houses an important Elzevier collection which comprises over 700 books printed by members of the Elzevier family, and c.450 books produced by other 17th century Dutch presses, in all, a collection unique in the UK. The collection of Elzevier publications was given to Senate House Library by the Corporation of London's Guildhall Library in 1950 and has been added to the STCN-database in 2002. (website University Library)
St. Petersburg, National Library
The National Library of Russia at St. Petersburg was founded by Catherine the Great in 1795 and houses some 36 million items. In the autumn of 2009 part of the extensive collection of Elzevier editions was described for the STCN.
The database includes, besides material from the libraries mentioned above, a growing number of title descriptions of unique material from various smaller and larger libraries at home and abroad. These collections, each with their own collection emphasis, have not been added to the STCN in their entirety, but contribute substantially by tracing and describing unique editions.
The STCN comprises title descriptions from, among others, the following collections (in random order and with no pretense at completeness):
- Universiteitsbibliotheek Maastricht
- Hoorn, Archiefdienst
- Haarlem, Teylers Museum
- Haarlem, Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente
- Leerdam, Gereformeerde Bijbelstichting
- Leerdam, Statenbijbelmuseum
- Library of Congress
- Universiteitsbibliotheek Braunsweig
- Ets Haim, Amsterdam
- London, Lambeth Palace Library
- Londen, Middle Temple Library
- London, St. Bride Library
- Dublin, Trinity College
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales
- Jämtlands läns bibliotek
- Linköping Stifts- och landsbiblioteket
- Norrköpings Stadsbibliotek
- Skara Stifts- och landsbiblioteket
- Skoklosters Slotts Bibliotek
- Stockholm Kungliga Biblioteket
- Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek
- Västerås Stadsbibliotek
- Växjö Stadsbiblioteket
- Gent, University Library
- Rome, Nederlands Insituut
Incunabula and post-incunabula
The STCN describes all books printed after 1540, but already since the 1460’s books have been printed in the Netherlands. Accordingly, brief descriptions of incunables and postincunables were included in the database in 1993-1994. These short descriptions were derived from Campbell’s Annales de la typographie néerlandaise au XVe siècle and Nijhoff and Kronenberg’s Nederlandsche bibliographie van 1500 tot 1540 respectively and will be updated to full records in the future.