WUR Library

The Krelage collection (1667-1920)

Part of the Krelage library was donated to Wageningen University in 1916. The collection of 1300 books and journals on horticulture and botany reflects the speciality of the famous Krelage nursery and their broader interests: bulbs, ornamental plants, plant breeding and botany.

The origin of the collection

The Krelage nursery was founded by grandfather E.H. Krelage (1786-1855) in Haarlem in 1811. The nursery was well known national and international for their flower bulbs, lilies and dahlia's. They gained more than 800 medals at world exhibitions and horticultural shows and delivered at many royal courts. Among the many new hybrids they've cultivated are the famous Darwin tulips. The Krelage collection was started in the middle of the nineteenth century by nurseryman Jacob Heinrich Krelage (1824-1901) at Haarlem and continued by his son Dr. Ernst Heinrich Krelage (1869-1956). The Krelage family also started a collection of nursery catalogues which was donated to Wageningen University & Research Library (Landbouwhogeschool). This part of the Krelage library that was donated is now called the Krelage Collection. The most rare and oldest parts of the Krelage library were sold at an auction in 1948. WUR Library also bought some botanical herbals and a collection of tulipomania pamphlets. The most precious book is a unique manuscript nursery catalogue, the Tulip Book of P. Cos.