History of the collection: The foundation for the collection was laid in 1870-71.
Size: The collection comprises approximately 900 books.
Accessibility: The books are listed in the KB online public catalogue and (in part) in the KB card catalogues. All books published after 1800 are circulating books; those from before 1800 are for library use only and can be examined in the Special Collections reading room.
More information: Anna Rademakers 070-3140780
J. Kingma en A.K. Offenberg. Bibliography of Spinoza's works up to 1800. Amsterdam, 1977. Fig. 22. Shelf mark: LZ BIOGR 99. SPIN 16.
E.J. Brill, Catalogus van de bibliotheek der vereniging het Spinozahuis te Rijnsburg. Leiden, 1965, p. 18. Shelf mark: LZ BIOGR 99. SPIN 10.
Spinoza Opera. Heidelberg. Frontspiece. Shelf mark: LZ FILOS 57. SPI 2.
Since its inception, the KB has been acquiring material by and about Benedict de Spinoza. But the foundation of the current collection was laid in 1870, when Adrianus Bogaers (1795-1870) donated the 17th-century manuscript-translation Korte verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs welstand, and in 1871, when the collection of Dr Antonius van der Linde (1833-1897), which included an 18th-century copy of this translation, was purchased. These acquisitions consist of the only two preserved copies of Korte verhandeling and many rare, early editions by and about Spinoza and the Dutch Spinozists.
In 1958 the KB was given a collection of letters from the estate of the Spinozist Willem Gerard van der Tak (1885-1958), secretary of the organization known as Het Spinozahuis in The Hague.
The Spinoza collection is very valuable for the study of the philosophy of Spinoza and Dutch Spinozism. Besides the materials now in the KB, the Amsterdam University Library's Rare Books department and the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana hold a large number of early editions of Spinoza, both Latin editions and Dutch translations. Also of interest are the books in the Spinozahuis in Rijnsburg, in the Spinoza reading room (Paviljoensgracht 74 in The Hague), and the Spinoza Collection in the Leiden University Library.
The collection of Dr. A van der Linde
Van der Linde -- the chess historian from whom the KB purchased its large chess collection -- completed his doctorate in 1862 in Göttingen with a thesis on Spinoza. He collected valuable works by and about Spinoza, which he then used for his Spinoza bibliography of 1871. Afterwards he sold to the KB his collection (166 titles) which includes many rare editions of the works of Spinoza and of the Spinozists in the Netherlands. The Van der Linde collection also includes one of the two extant copies of the Korte verhandeling
The Korte verhandeling has a complex history that has been reconstructed in many different ways in the literature on the subject. For reasons of both content and history it is assumed that this was one of Spinoza's earliest works (from around 1660) -- a preliminary sketch for Ethics, in point of fact, but not yet presented in the mathematical form in which Ethics was published. The Korte verhandeling does not appear in the Opera Posthuma, published in 1677 by Jarich Jelles (c. 1619-1683). There were indications that a Dutch text by Spinoza existed, but proof did not come to light until 1852 with the discovery of an 18th-century copy from the hand of the Amsterdam physician Johannes Monnikhoff (1707-1787). This copy is known as ms. B. But as preparations were being made for the first publication of this copy by the Dutch man of letters and polemicist Johannes van Vloten (1818-1883) in 1862, it emerged that the lawyer and poet Bogaers was in possession of the 17th-century manuscript on which Monnikhoff had based his copy. Today it is assumed that this manuscript -- ms. A -- was written out by a copyist in the 17th century on the basis of two original versions, both of which have been lost. As long as these originals remain missing, ms. A will continue to be regarded by specialists as the 'codex unicus' and ms. B as the 'codex descriptus'.
Both manuscripts have been in the possession of the KB since 1870-71. Ms. A, entitled Korte verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs welstand, originates from the Bogaers collection donated in 1870. It was bound along with a 17th-century copy of the Godgeleerd-staatkundig vertoog, a Dutch translation of the Tractatus theologico-politicus, and with annotations accompanying that treatise, in an 18th-century binding under shelf mark 75 G 15. Ms. B, entitled Ethica of zedeleer, stems from the Van der Linde collection purchased in 1871. Its binding bears this title on its spine: Benedicti / Nagelate, with shelf mark 75 G 16. The second part accompanying this manuscript has the title De Spinoza / Schriften on its spine and is the printed De nagelate schriften van B. d. S.: Als zedekunst, staatkunde, verbetering van 't verstant, brieven en antwoorden (Amsterdam, Jan Rieuwertsz, 1677), with supplements by Monnikhoff. It was discovered in 1972 and since 1977 has been located in the KB under shelf mark 135 C 22.
The first publication of the Korte verhandeling was by Van Vloten and took place in 1862, in the Supplementum to the Opera quotquot reperta sunt, on the basis of ms. B with reference to Ms. A. In 1869 Carl Schaarschmidt published a second edition based exclusively on the Bogaers manuscript. In 1986 the Korte verhandeling was published in a critical Italian-Dutch edition: Korte verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs welstand = Breve trattato su Dio, l'uomo e il suo bene, translated and with an introduction and commentary by Filippo Mignini.
Collection of letters from the estate of W.G. van der Tak.
Van der Tak (1885-1958) was secretary of the association 'Het Spinozahuis' in The Hague. His estate included a collection of letters concerning the Spinozahuis that were donated to the KB in 1958. The approximately one hundred letters date mostly from the period 1911-1955.
Brummel, L. Geschiedenis der Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Leiden : Sijthoff, 1939, p. 161.
Verslag der Koninklijke Bibliotheek 1870. 's-Gravenhage : Belinfante, p. 4.
Verslag der Koninklijke Bibliotheek 1871. 's-Gravenhage : Belinfante, p. 74.
Linde, A. van der. Benedictus Spinoza bibliografie. 's-Gravenhage : Nijhoff, 1871, X, 113 p.
Kingma, J. en A.K. Offenberg. Bibliography of Spinoza's works up to 1800.
Amsterdam, 1977, 32 p., 20 p. pl. Offprint from: Studia Rosenthaliana 11 (1977) 1 (jan.).
Mignini, F. Inleiding op Spinoza's "Korte verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs welstand". Rome, 1980. Vert. G. en D. van Suchtelen. In: B. de Spinoza. Korte geschriften ; bezorgd door F. Akkerman...[et al. ; voorbericht van Guido van Suchtelen ; vert. uit het Latijn], p. 223 ff.
Spinoza, B. de. Korte verhandeling van God, de mensch en deszelvs welstand = Breve trattato su Dio, l'uomo e il suo bene; introd., ed., trad. e commento di Filippo Mignini. L'Aquila : Japadre Editore, 1986, 893 p.
Textgestaltung op "Korte Verhandeling van God, de mensch en des zelvs welstand" door Carl Gebhardt. In: B. de Spinoza. Spinoza Opera ; im Auftrag der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften hrsg. von Carl Gebhardt, 1972-1987, dl. I, p. 407-526.
Antonius van der Linde, scholar, bibliophile 1833-1897. In: Collectors and collections. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 1789-1998. Zwolle : Waanders, 1998, p. 75-79.