General Cultural History

Literature, philosophy, gastronomy, music, theatre and comics: art and culture confront us everywhere.

This part of the collections covers European cultural history from circa 1500 to the present. A collection of 17th and 18th century printed matter from Amsterdam forms the basis. In it we find highpoints, such as the complete collections of the poets and playwrights Joost van den Vondel and Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft.

The collection grew in scope and diversity owing to a large number of donations and permanent loans. The collections on loan from the Multatuli Society, the Frederik van Eeden Society and the Réveil Archive Foundation are exceptional examples. The Réveil was a 19th century Protestant revival movement, whose members included the poets Willem Bilderdijk and Isaäc da Costa. This part of the collection has also been enriched by the collection of the Nederlandsch Schoolmuseum (School Museum of the Netherlands) and the Library of Gastronomy. They include editions such as Le Pastissier François from 1655 and De Volmaakte Hollandsche keukenmeid from 1746. These works are the precursors of the modern cookbook and provide an interesting glimpse into the eating culture of centuries past.

Appendix of De Volmaakte Hollandsche keukenmeid, Amsterdam, 1746.

The General Cultural History section also contains children’s books and prints, popular printed matter, such as almanacs and comics, and a collection of Dutch philosophy. Many of the collections are still being added to regularly. Some form a ‘living archive’ like the archive of the author Arnon Grunberg.

A drawing from the comic Dick Bos, Chicago episode (1941) by Alfred Mazure.

Collection Specialists

Cultural History of the Modern Era:

drs. Klaas van der Hoek
Phone number: 020 525 24 76
UvA staff page: Klaas van der Hoek

drs. Jos van Waterschoot
Phone number: 020 525 60 23
UvA staff page: Jos van Waterschoot

Charlotte Kleyn MA

Jessie Pietens MA