ProQuest 'goes Dutch'

Over 30,000 rare early books held by the National Library of the Netherlands are to be digitised.

ProQuest has entered into an agreement with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), the National Library of the Netherlands, to digitise more than 30,000 rare, early books.

With this agreement, the KB becomes the third major European national library to participate in ProQuest's Early European Books project, which is building an increasingly comprehensive survey of printing in Europe up to 1700.  (The Danish Royal Library and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze of Italy are already included).  

The KB's collection reflects the period when the Dutch Republic was publishing works that were controversial or banned in other countries.   It includes the nation's earliest printed books, such as the Delft Bible of 1477, the first book published in Dutch.  Also included are the output of the printing house of Elzevir, which was founded in 1583. The Elzevir family were at the forefront of European intellectual life in the seventeenth century and published René Descartes (1596-1650) and Galileo Galilei.

Early European Books collections are available for purchase for libraries worldwide, and are delivered via a multilingual interface which allows powerful searching of the detailed indexing.  

More information on the Early European Books project is available from ProQuest.