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Dutch/Flemish Non-book Material Held

The British Library holds a number of substantial collections and archives on sources other than books - specifically, on microfiche, CD-ROM and online.


The British Library holds a number of substantial collections and archives on microfiche. The most extensive one is the Knuttel collection of Dutch pamphlets (c.1486-1750). Although many of those pamphlets are held in the British Library, the collection of microfiche (shelfmark: Mic.F.108) provides the reader with an almost complete body of texts. Another important tool in book research is provided by the collection of Book sales catalogues of the Dutch Republic, 1599-1800 (held in Early Printed Collections). Further holdings include the Luchtmans Archief (shelfmark: Mic.F.636) and the Nineteenth century directories for the Dutch booktrade (shelfmark: Mic.F.635).

Students of the backgrounds of the Indonesian conflict can consult the extensive collection on the Indonesian nationalist movement (shelfmark: Mic.F.665) or a number of archives brought together in the collection on War and decolonization in Indonesia, 1940-1950 (held in Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections). In the fields of art and architecture, the complete archives of Theo van Doesburg (shelfmark: Mic.F.626) and Gerrit Rietveld (shelfmark: LB.31.c.9225) are available on microfiche.

The acquisition of microfiche is moreover aimed at filling gaps which are difficult or impossible to fill. Many emblem books, for example, have been added to the collection is this particular form.


The most important CD-ROM for the section is Brinkman’s cumulative catalogues (held in the Humanities Reading Room). In September 1995 this, the national bibliography of the Netherlands, was published on CD-ROM, containing a backfile over the years 1981-1989 and a current file over 1990-1995. Every three months a cumulative update is published of the latter.

Recently, another vital tool has been added to the study of early Dutch collections when P. van Huisstede and J.P.J.Brandhorst published their catalogue of Dutch printer’s devices 15th-17th century which includes a CD-ROM (held in the Dutch/Flemish Section).


The British Library takes part in the creation of the retrospective national bibliography of the Netherlands. This undertaking is the most important one in a number of joined initiatives between the British Library and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The database of the Short-Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN) contains descriptions of all books printed in the Netherlands and books in Dutch printed outside the Netherlands (excluding Belgium) until 1800. The work is in progress and at present (Autumn 2009) the file holds some 190,000 titles and over 500,000 copies of books published in the Netherlands (irrespective of the language) and of books in Dutch published abroad (with the exception of Belgium). The database is continuously updated. Most Dutch imprints held at the British Library have been added to the database.

Another joint project is the digitisation of the Atlas van der Hagen (c.1690, held in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and Atlas Beudeker (c.1750, held in the British Library Map Library). In this project parts of the two atlases have been digitised. 

The British Library is also a contributor to the project on the Book Sales Catalogues of the Dutch Republic, 1599-1800. This project aims to gather all Dutch printed booksellers catalogues up to 1800 and publish the data on microfiche (Leiden: IDC Publishers). So far (July 2002) some 4000 catalogues have been collected and recorded. An electronic version of the Guide to the microform collection has now been produced. This allows searching by name of publisher or collector, by date of auction/year of publication, and by place of auction/publication.


Dutch/Flemish Section
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7764
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7578