Collection history: The 'Bibliotheca Duncaniana' was already part of the Stadtholder's library, and it was supplemented by collections of unknown origin in the nineteenth century.
Size: The collection comprises over 30,000 titles.
Access: The pamphlets can be found in the KB Catalogue and in Knuttel'sprinted catalogue (see below). All pamphlets up to 1801 (apart from broadsheets and non-Dutch imprints) have been included in the STCN; those from the period 1801-1832 may be found in the Nederlandse Bibliografie 1801-1832. The books can only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. The collection is available on microfiche in a number of important libraries in the Netherlands and abroad. Moreover, it is available full text via the KB's digital library.**
More information:** Marieke van Delft- 070-3140329.
Warhafftige vnd eigentliche beschreibung, von der Geburt, Leben vnd Sterben desz Printzen von Orangien. [Cölln] 1584. Shelfnumber pamflet 696. Title page.
Ghy Patriotten t'hans, kijck uyt. [Z. pl. 1615]. Shelfnumber pamflet 2178. Title page.
Harmodius Friso. Het gestoorde naaypartydje van Willem de Vde. Zurich 1786. Shelfnumber pamflet 21324a. Title page.
Pamphlets are topical documents about current affairs in the field of politics, religion, and all other areas of current interest. The contents can be compared to a present-day article in a newsmagazine: from objective historical commentaries to one-sided personal polemics, from pious sermons to witty columns. The 18th century Hague lawyer Joan Duncan owned a collection of circa 20,000 of such documents, dating from the sixteenth century up to his own time. After his death (1753) his heirs donated his collection of pamphlets as 'Bibliotheca Duncaniana' to the Stadtholder, and hence the books passed to the Nationale (subsequently Koninklijke) Bibliotheek. With the addition of other collections their number increased to over 30,000 items, and in 1879 a special staff member was appointed to catalogue this historically significant material: Dr W.P.C. Knuttel, who completed this work in 1920. Since then KB pamphlets have been carrying shelf-mark: Pamflet + Knuttel number. Between 1980 and 1998 the entire collection of pamphlets has been published on microfiche (Leiden, IDC publishers). The collection covers the period 1486-1853; the subject index in vol. 9 of Knuttel's catalogue covers that up to and including 1795.
- W.P.C. Knuttel. Catalogus van de pamfletten-verzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek. . Reprint, with handwritten corrections, additions and variants. With an introductory essay and instructions for the user by Dr H. van der Hoeven. Utrecht 1978 (reprint of the original version of 1889-1920).
- J.A. Gruys. 'De Bibliotheca Duncaniana'. In: Verzamelaars en verzamelingen. Koninklijke Bibliotheek 1798-1998. Zwolle 1998, p. 30-33.