The collection: a collection of occasional poems from from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, mostly in Dutch.
Size: The collection comprises c.4,000 titles.
Accessibility: The books can be found in the KB Catalogue. The books can only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.
More information: Marieke van Delft - 070-3140329.
From the seventeenth century onwards occasional poems were printed in small print runs for special occasions such as weddings or funerals and for official ceremonies (such as appointments or jubilees).
Epithalamivm. ofte bruylofts-ghedicht ter eeren het ... houwelijck tusschen ... Eerich Brahe ... ende ... Licia van Eysinga. Leeuwarden 1616. Shelfnumber 853 A 255. Title page.
Echt-zangen, op het huwelyk van ... Jan Arend Smit ... en ... Anna Patronella Klad. 1767. Shelfnumber Gel Ged 486. Binding, covered with gold brocade, with ornamental cutting and the initials APK (copy of the bride).
Echt-zangen, op het huwelyk van ... Jan Arend Smit ... en ... Anna Patronella Klad. 1767. Shelfnumber Gel Ged 486. Added ornamental cuttings, meant for the wedding table.
The publications consist of poems on weddings, appointments, jubilees or the death of Dutch citizens. Wedding poems constitute the largest category, followed by funeral poems (dirges). Most poems are in Dutch, although quite a few are written in Latin.
Some publications are illustrated or bound in a special binding. Their size varies: some poems are printed on one side of a sheet of paper (broadsheet), others are part of extensive collections of poems on a single occasion.
Poems about kings and the stadholders and poems on historical events are not included in this category. They are part of the pamphlets collection.
The foundations for the collection were laid in 1866 by the acquisition of fifty volumes containing some 2,000 occasional poems. The collection was extended in 1972 with the acquisition of 734 items from the collection of Gerard Halwasse. Incidentally, new items are added to the collection, which at present numbers some 4,000 publications. The early collection items may be recognised by their shelfmarks beginning with KW 852 or 853. The Halwasse collection and recent acquisitions until c. 2013 can be recognised by the shelf mark KW Gel. Ged. followed by a number.
Special catalogues of occasional poetry
Occasional poetry publications up to 1700 have been catalogued separately by José Bouman in Nederlandse gelegenheidsgedichten voor 1700 in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek te 's-Gravenhage (1982). The entire collection is recorded in a database on CD-rom: Dutch occasional poetry of 16th through 18th centuries (2004). The collection has been reproduced on microfiche (2001).
Relationship with other collections of occasional poetry
Other major collections of occasional poetry (before 1800) are to be found in the library of the Amsterdam City Archive, the Central Bureau for Genealogy, the library of the Society of Dutch Literature and Museum Meermanno. The bibliographical data of the publications in those collections can be searched in the Gelegenheidsgedichten tot 1800 in Nederland database, which contains records for over 6,600 Dutch occasional poems.
The KB also owns occasional poetry published after 1800. These publications do not constitute a separate collection. They can be found in the KB Catalogue.
- José Bouman, Nederlandse gelegenheidsgedichten voor 1700 in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek te 's-Gravenhage. Catalogus van gedrukte gedichten op gedenkwaardige gebeurtenissen in het leven van particuliere personen. 's-Gravenhage, 1982.
- Dutch occasional poetry, 16th through 18th centuries : a genre rediscovered. Project ed.: J.A. Gruys ; project cataloguer: Adèle Nieuweboer. Leiden, 2001. Microfiches.
- Dutch occasional poetry of 16th through 18th centuries. A genre rediscovered. Project adviser: J.A. Gruys; comp. by: Adèle Nieuweboer. 2nd updated catalogue. Leiden, cop. 2004. CD-rom.