W.L. & J. Brusse's Publishing Firm

The collection: a nearly complete collection of the publications of W.L. & J. Brusse’s publishing Company in Rotterdam from the period 1903-1969. Popular books, such as M.J. Brusse’s Boefje and well-designed books such as the Monografieën over Filmkunst series, and the library of W.L. & J. Brusse's.
Size: c. 1500 items (1026 different titles)
Access: The titles have been catalogued in the KB Catalogue, with data on designers, illustrators, binders and fonts. More information: Paul van Capelleveen - 070-3140331

Publications of the Rotterdam firm of Brusse in all extant editions: bound and sewn, with dust jackets. The collection includes all series and all editions designed by S.H. de Roos, Piet Zwart, and others.

M.J. Brusse, Boefje. Rotterdam, 1913. Shelf number BRUSSE A 2. Cover 
M.J. Brusse, Boefje, Rotterdam, 1913

Shelf number BRUSSE A 2. Cover

J.F. Otten, Amerikaansche filmkunst. Rotterdam, 1931. Shelfnumber BRUSSE S 30:7. Cover, designed by Piet Zwart. 
J.F. Otten, Amerikaansche filmkunst. Rotterdam, 1931

Shelf number BRUSSE S 30:7. Cover designed by Piet Zwart.

Goed Wonen jrg. 7 (1954) 4. Shelf number BRUSSE T 11:7 [1]. Cover. 
Goed Wonen jrg. 7 (1954) 4

Shelf number BRUSSE T 11:7 [1]. Cover.

Collection profile

The editions of Brusse were important because they included works by the architect H.P. Berlage and the poets J.H. Leopold and J. van Oudshoorn, but they are equally important for their designs. Brusse hired modern designers, including S.H. de Roos, Piet Zwart, Jan van Krimpen, and Paul Schuitema. The company published books between 1903 and 1969.

The collection gives a complete overview of the diversity in publications of the Rotterdam publisher. The rate between fiction and non-fiction is approximately three to seven. Important fiction authors include the social democrats C.S. Adama van Scheltema and Henriette Roland Holst, but also M.J. Brusse, whose legendary Boefje was reprinted many times. In addition, books illustrated by Koos Speenhoff came off the presses in large numbers.

The non-fiction editions include a large proportion of school books, among others the famous writing course De loopende hand and the literary anthology by De Raaf and Griss, Een nieuwe bundel. A remarkably large proportion of the books deals with art and culture. Examples are Monografieën over Filmkunst and De toegepaste kunsten in Nederland. The Brusses’ zeal with regard to (interior) design is clear from the successful magazine Goed wonen.

The company always paid much attention to the design of its publications. In the beginning, S.H. de Roos and H.P. Berlage were the main book designers (De Roos also designed the company’s stocks), but later on, designers of the Nieuwe Zakelijkheid movement such as Piet Zwart and Paul Schuitema were given a free reign.

Collection history

After the official liquidation of the company in 1969, the library was transferred to the KB. The correspondence archive went to the Literary Museum, and the original designs, illustrations and proofs to the Museum Meermanno. The company archive was transferred to the Rotterdam Municipal Archive. The collection was extensively described in the catalogue, with notes on the variant forms. More data (about print runs, different bindings, sales, logo’s etcetera) were published in W. L. & J. Brusse's Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1903-1965.


  • W.L. & J. Brusse's Uitgeversmaatschappij 1903­-1965. Red. S. van Faassen ... [et al.]. Met fondslijst door P. van Beest en P. de Bode. Rotterdam, Uitgeverij 010, 1993.