Foto: Monique Kooijmans SAE, magazijn Speciale Collections

Books and journals

The main subjects in the collection of 45.000 books, manuscripts and journals are agriculture, horticulture, ornamental plants, botany, land use and garden and landscape architecture. Some of the most valuable items include herbals, botanical and horticultural books from the 17th, 18th and 19th century.

How to find books and journals?

The Special Collections Catalogue covers the mainly printed rare and old books and journals stored in the stacks of the reading room. If a publication is digitally available for free you could find this information in the Special Collections Catalogue.

Some highlights

The oldest book in the collection is Petrus Crescentius' 'In commodorum ruralium', published in 1490. Orginally a 13th century manuscript, the text was found important enough that it was printed so early after the invention of bookprinting even in several editions. It is one of the most attractive illustrated natural history books of the incunable period. The woodcuts represent husbandry scenes, many plants, animals, falconry, hunting, and other country pursuits. The book is digitally available.

The tulip book by Pieter Cos: this famous nursery catalogue was published in 1637 on the peak of the tulipomania. It is digitally available.

More on the tulip book

The Springer Library (1630-1940) contains over 700 books on landscape architecture and garden history of the Netherlands and abroad collected by garden architect Leonard A. Springer.

More on the Springer library

The Krelage collection (1650-1900) holds 1100 books and journals on horticulture, donated to the library by the famous nursery family Krelage from Haarlem.

More on the Krelage collection

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Woodcarve from: Petrus Crescentius 'In commodorum ruralium', 1490

Woodcarve from: Petrus Crescentius 'In commodorum ruralium', 1490