Early printed books

The core of the collection of early and rare printed books consists of the book collections of the Utrecht chapters and cloisters and of the donations by the lawyer Evert van de Poll and the theologian Huybert Edmond van Buchell (see the Van Buchell collection). Five of these early printed works are regarded as masterpieces and are included in the Treasury of Special Collections.

In the four centuries of its existence the library acquired many impressive collections, including the ones of various Utrecht professors, such as the chemist Johann Conrad Barchusen (1666-1723), the lawyer and economist Jan Ackersdijck (1790-1861) (see the Ackersdijck collection), the Neerlandist Henri Ernest Moltzer (1836-1895) and the Neerlandist and Germanist Jan te Winkel (1847-1928).

In addition the libraries of a number of institutions were added to Special Collections, such as the seminary libraries of the Archbishopric of Utrecht, the cloister libraries of the order of the Friars Minor and the library of the Theology University of Amsterdam.

Some special printed works from the collection are explained in detail. These explanations can be accessed via the images below or via these specific entries:

Nowadays Utrecht University Library houses over 130,000 printed works published before 1801 and circa 1,000,000 books from the 19th century. Special Collections also includes special, rare or valuable printed works published after 1900, taking up approximately 3,000 items. The early printed and rare works are kept in well climatised depots.

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Highlighted early printed books