De Fabrieksbode

Donation by DSM, Heerlen
Acquisition 2001
Date 1882-2001
Signature T 11379

With 121 volumes, De Fabrieksbode, the company magazine of the Delft branch of the chemical company DSM, was the longest-running company magazine appearing without interruption in the world. This magazine, which has been mentioned in Guinness Book of Records , can certainly be regarded as an item of national heritage. The first De Fabrieksbode appeared on 24 June 1882 and the magazine then appeared without interruption until mid-2001, first as a weekly, then as a fortnightly edition and in the last years as a monthly. When the last issue appeared in September 2001 it marked the end of an era. To commemorate this event, DSM decided to offer a complete edition of the De Fabrieksbode to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
Jacobus Cornelis van Marken (1845-1906), the socially inspired director and founder of Nederlandsche Gist- & Spiritusfabriek [Dutch Yeast & Spirits Factory], initially produced the magazine with the goal of achieving closer contact and improved communication between the company and its employees. However, in practice things turned out quite differently. The De Fabrieksbode was first and foremost a platform for Van Marken. 'Educational' and 'morally uplifting' articles occupied an important place.

The yeast factory was a micro-society: the company not only provided work, but also housing, education, shops and recreational activities. After Van Marken's death in 1906 the tone of the magazine changed. Whereas Van Marken's style was quite fatherly, the readers were now addressed in a more business-like way. The gap between the management and the workers seemed to grow wider.
Actual substantive criticism of the company's policy did not appear until the year 2000. During a major overhaul of the Delft branch of DSM, employees expressed their opinions candidly. After 120 years Van Marken's goal of two-way communication finally became reality.
At about the same time the De Fabrieksbode stopped appearing. The internal media landscape and communication structures at DSM in Delft had changed because media such as Internet and intranet had assumed a more important role in internal contacts. Nevertheless, the De Fabrieksbode did its job for over a century, as the Koninklijke Bibliotheek's complete set of the magazine shows.

(RS)