Cornets de Groot family archive

Collection: Family archive of the (Cornets) de Groot family, containing letters, acts, other archival materials and works by and about Hugo de Groot.
Size: C. 200 printed works and c. 15,000 pages of archival materials (7.5 metres).
Access: : The books can be found in the KB Catalogue. A printed inventory by V.A.J. Klooster can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.
More information: Ad Leerintveld 070-3140320.

Cabinet in which the archive was stored originally.
Portretgravure van Hugo de Groot
Portrait of Hugo Grotius

Request no.CdG 25. No 3.

Miniature book case of Hugo Grotius (mid-19th century)
Miniature book case of Hugo Grotius (mid-19th century)

Collection profile

This collection includes some notable works by Hugo de Groot, such as the Inleiding tot de Hollandsche rechtsgeleertheyd and documentary material about him from after his death. The core of the archive, however, consists of the papers of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century generations of the Cornets de Groot family. In addition to substantial amounts of correspondence, it includes family papers such as wills, inventories, genealogical surveys, appointment letters etcetera. Also, there are curious items such as a long series of programmes of the Théatre Royal de La Haye. As a number of members of the family lived in the Dutch East Indies at some time or another, the collection is of interest for East Indian studies as well.

History of the collection

In 1926, a few years after the death of J.A.W.L. Cornets de Groot van Kraayenburg (1861-1923), the last keeper of the archive, it was decided to offer the collection to the KB on a long-term loan. In 2002, G.J. de Jonge- Janssen added several items to the loan. Among them are a miniature version of the famous book chest of Hugo de Groot with rather surprising contents: children’s shoes, glasses, pipes, travel souvenirs and fragments of the window frame of De Groot’s chamber at Loevestein (damaged by woodlice).


  • D.J.H. ter Horst. Overzicht van het familie-archief Cornets de Groot. 's-Gravenhage, 1940.
  • [D.J.H. ter Horst]. Overzicht van de gedrukte werken aanwezig in het archief van Cornets de Groot. 's-Gravenhage, (ca. 1940)
  • Kees Thomassen, 'J.P. Cornets de Groot van Kraaijenburg', in: Collectors and collections. Koninklijke Bibliotheek 1798-1998. Zwolle, 1998, p. 63-65.
  • Kees Thomassen, ‘Miniatuurboekenkist van Hugo de Groot’, in: Stijl. Bijzondere aanwinsten van de Koninklijke bibliotheek tijdens het directoraat van Wim van Drimmelen. Den Haag/Amsterdam, 2008, p. 100-101.