Size: De collection comprises almost 7 metres.
Access:All items from the collection can be found in the KB Catalogue. A concise description of the individual parts can be found in part 2 of the Inventaris van de handschriften van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, with a bibliography for each division. The correspondence has been catalogued in the Catalogus Epistularum Neerlandicarum.
More information: Ad Leerintveld 070-3140320.

ion announcement from the library of Gijsbert Cuper
ion announcement from the library of Gijsbert Cuper

Auction announcement from the library of Gijsbert Cuper. Shelfnumber 72 C 32. Broadsheet.

Start of the diary of Gijsbert Cuper
Start of the diary of Gijsbert Cuper

Start of the diary of Gijsbert Cuper. Shelfnumber 72 D 14.

Collection description

Gijsbert Cuper (1644-1716) was professor of classics and headmaster of the Athenaeum at Deventer. Because of his extensive correspondence with scholars from the Netherlands and abroad he was a key figure in the study of archaeology, classical history and literature. Numismatology, too, was a matter of interest to him.
A year after his demise, Cuper's extensive library, containing over 4,000 volumes, was auctioned at Deventer. His autographs and correspondence remained in family possession and were sold to professor Petrus Bosscha (1789-1871) in 1854. In that same year, Bosscha sold over three quarters of the collection to the State for f 400. The documents of an administrative nature (16 volumes) were placed at the Public Records Office (Algemeen Rijksarchief), all antiquarian and literary material (140 volumes) at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. After Bosscha's death some further Cuperiana from his collection were housed at the Public Records Office and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
The Cuper collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek to a large extent consists of correspondence. Cuper corresponded regularly with, for example, the classical historian Joannes Georgius Graevius (1632-1703), the theologist and philosopher Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), the Amsterdam mayor and geographer Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717), the diplomat Nicolaas Heinsius (1620-1681), the archaeologist Claude Nicaise (1623-1701), the librarian of the grand duke of Florence, Antonio Magliabechi (1633-1714), the theologian Jean le Clerc (1657-1736), the classical historian Petrus Burman (1668-1741) and the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646-1716).
An other important part of the collections is constituted by the collection of Cuper's notes and observations on scholarly publications in the field of classical literature, archaeology, theology and numismatics. In the collection, you can also find studies and notes which were printed in later years.


  • P. Bosscha. Opgave en beschrijving van de handschriften, nagelaten door Gisbertus Cuperus. Dl. 1. Deventer 1842. Ongeveer 35 van de ca. 200 delen van het Cupers archief zijn hierin beschreven.
  • Het dagboek van Gisbert Cuper, gedeputeerde te velde, gehouden in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden in 1706. Uitg. door A.J. Veenendaal, 's-Gravenhage 1950 (Rijks Geschiedkundige PublicatiĆ«n, kleine serie: 30).
  • D. Groffen. 'Gisbert Cuper'. In: De wereld binnen handbereik. Nederlandse kunst- en rariteitenverzamelingen, 1585-1735. Hoofdred: E. Bergvelt en R. Kistemaker. Amsterdam 1992, p. 102-104. Catalogus bij de tentoonstelling in het Amsterdams Historisch Museum.