The Books

 

There is room for approximately 300 books on the reading desks. The catalogue contains about 750 titles. The core of the collection consists of acquisitions by Slindewater and Berner in the fi rst half of the 16th century. Another part of the collection was acquired through legacies. Particularly in the 15th and 16th century learned inhabitants of Zutphen left their books to the ‘Librije’. After the Reformation books from the dissolved monastries in and around Zutphen were added to the collection of the ‘Librije’. There are also text-books from the former chapter-school, amply provided with notes by the students. In the 17th century the collection was supplemented with books reflecting the interests of the era: books on Reformation theology and the history of the Netherlands were added. Until the middle of the 18th century donations were made to the ‘Librije’ on a regular basis, mainly by ministers connected with the church. The present collection contains books on theology, law, history and literature – works by Church Fathers, medieval commentaries on the bible, books on the lives of saints, legal commentaries, classical writers like Virgil, Horatius, Seneca, Homer and Herodotus and humanistic authors like the Dutch scholar Erasmus. The collection contains 5 manuscripts and 85 incunabula (books printed before 1500). On the reading desks we find mainly books from the original collection – 15th and 16th century works with beautifully tooled leather covers and silver mountings. In the bookcase we see mainly 17th century books with parchment covers.