Children's books

History of the collection: The origin of the collection is diverse.
Size: The collection comprises approximately 188.000 titles and 1400 'centsprenten'.
Accessibility: All children's book scan be found in the KB Catalogue. They must be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. Also see the Central File of Children's Books (Dutch) with over200,000 bibliographical records of Dutch children's books, periodicals and audiovisual materials located in a growing number of intitutions,including the KB.
More information: preferably via e-mail: Karin Vingerhoets

Cornelus Muller. Laatste vruchten voor de Nederlandse jeugd. Amsterdam: Van Vliet, 1798. Fig. 1. Shelf mark: 1090 G 59. 

Cornelus Muller. Laatste vruchten voor de Nederlandse jeugd. Amsterdam: Van Vliet, 1798. Fig. 1. Shelf mark: 1090 G 59.

Een kindervriend. Alfred en Antonia; of de deugd beloond en de ondeugd gestraft. Eene toover- en ridder-geschiedenis, uit den ouden tijd. Rotterdam: T.J. Wijnhoven Hendriksen, 1831. Shelf mark: 1090 E 26. Title page and frontispiece.  

Een kindervriend. Alfred en Antonia; of de deugd beloond en de ondeugd gestraft. Eene toover- en ridder-geschiedenis, uit den ouden tijd. Rotterdam: T.J. Wijnhoven Hendriksen, 1831. Shelf mark: 1090 E 26. Title page and frontispiece.

G.W. Tielkemeijer. De kluchtige en zonderlinge avonturen van Sim-Simse, een aap der apen. Amsterdam, 1850. P. 13. Shelf mark: 1090 H 123.  

G.W. Tielkemeijer. De kluchtige en zonderlinge avonturen van Sim-Simse, een aap der apen. Amsterdam, 1850. P. 13. Shelf mark: 1090 H 123.

J. Schenkman. Het leven van Jan Klaassen, verteld aan de Nederlandsche jeugd. Amsterdam, G. Theod. Bom, 1864. Shelf mark: 1087 A 623. P. 12  

J. Schenkman. Het leven van Jan Klaassen, verteld aan de Nederlandsche jeugd. Amsterdam, G. Theod. Bom, 1864. Shelf mark: 1087 A 623. P. 12

Margot Vos. Meiregen: een bundel kinderverzen. Amsterdam: Querido, 1925. p. 44. Shelf mark: Ki 1393.  

Margot Vos. Meiregen: een bundel kinderverzen. Amsterdam: Querido, 1925. p. 44. Shelf mark: Ki 1393.

The collection

In the earliest catalogue of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, published in 1800, there is a small number of children's books. For instance De kleine Grandisson by M.G. de Cambon-Van der Werken is present, but Hieronymus van Alphen'sProeve van kleine gedigten voor kinderen is lacking, as is the later, enlarged,edition entitled Kleine gedigten voor kinderen. Other titles by Van Alphen may readily be found in the catalogue. This proves that there were children's books in the library at this early stage of its history, but there was no active acquisition policy in the nineteenth century. The occasional children's book entered the library in bequests, and incidentally one was bought. In the preface to her Oude kinderboeken (1906), Elize Knuttel-Fabius mentioned 'the Koninklijke at The Hague' as one of the libraries that lent books to her.

The earliest known bequest of children's books dates from 1927. In that year, the heirs of the Rotterdam school teacher M.A. de Goeje, who wrote for children under the pseudonym 'Agatha', donated her complete works, some 125 titles, to the library.

In the '30s and '40s of the twentieth century there were a few sizeable additions to the collection. in 1937, the KB acquired the Waller collection of over 1,900 Dutch and Flemish chapbooks, including many children's books, and in 1943 part of the collection of G.J. Boekenoogen (1,500 books). Also in 1943, the Hague public library transferred a large collection of juvenile literature to the KB, including nineteenth- and early twentieth-century picture books, pop-up and moveable books and children's magazines such as De kinderwereld by P. Louwerse, together with some editions of the abovementioned books by Van Alphen.

Juvenile literature was acquired actively for the KB's collection from the 1960s onwards. In 1969, C.F. van Veen, the famous collector of children's books and prints, treated the fortieth library conference to a stimulating speech on his favourite topic [in De openbare bibliotheek 12 (1969) 6, pp. 248-264], in which he repeatedly criticized the Koninklijke Bibliotheek for its attitude towards early children's books. Apparently it was impossible to know which editions the KB possessed, since they were not catalogued, and the binding left much to be desired as well.In abrief answer (ibid., p. 360), the then deputy librarian of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek let it be known that quite soon all the items, 'approximately 5,500 in number', would be accessible. That was the way things stood in 1969. A number of beautiful items from Van Veen's collection were auctioned in 1984; attempts to keep the collection together failed. The KB acquired 16 books from the collection, including three rare ABC-books.

The founding in 1974 of the Deposit Library of Dutch publications contributed to the steady growth of the children's books collection. The KB also continued to receive large and small bequests, such as that of the heirs of Anne de Vries in 1996 or the 27 children's books from the collection of the artist Sicta Saltet-Heddema.

In 1997, the KB received on loan the collection of children's books of the former Informatiecentrum Boek en Jeugd (Book and Youth Information Centre), which was part of the NBLC. Boek en Jeugd was integrated into the Literary Museum in 1997. The NBLC transferred the Boek en Jeugd collections to the Literary Museum, which in turn gave this vast and interesting collection of 75,000 children's books to the KB on long-term loan.

This growth has resulted in a children's book collection numbering 170,000 titles. The size of the collection is steadily increasing, which is hardly surprising, due in no small degree to regular donations by private individuals -- people who have noticed the increased attention being paid to children's books in recent years and have become aware of how valuable their property is for the library repository. The acquisition policy was expanded recently as well, with the accent mainly on earlier Dutch children's books. Secondary literature is also being acquired, including general works on foreign children's books. With the establishment of the Deposit Library, Dutch children's books have been fully represented since the 1970s.

Literature

  • R. van de Vijver. Zoeken naar kinderboeken : een inventarisatie van collecties kinderboeken in Nederland. Leiden: Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, Sectie Kind en Media, 1993, 75 p.
  • P.J. Buijnsters and Leontine Buijnsters-Smets. Bibliografie van Nederlandse school- en kinderboeken 1700-1800. Zwolle: Waanders, 1997, 318 p.
  • 'G.J. Boekenoogen, taalkundige 1868-1930'. In: Verzamelaars en verzamelingen. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 1789-1998. Zwolle: Waanders, 1998, pp. 93-96.
  • 'Boek en Jeugd'. In: Verzamelaars en verzamelingen. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 1789-1998. Zwolle: Waanders, 1998, pp. 206-208.