Elly Cockx-Indestege, Honorary Department Manager of Precious Books, Royal Library, Brussels
Jan Storm van Leeuwen, Keeper of Bindings, Royal Library, The Hague
The Plantin-Moretus Museum possesses a most valuable collection of bindings, especially from the 15th and 16th centuries. This collection has been enriched with, amongst others, the Max Horn Library and the Ensemble Emile Verhaeren-René Vandevoir, covering 17th till 20th century editions.
In 2000 the museum received a project subsidy from the Flemish Community for the acquisition of books for the collection of bindings. Thus an Officium for the Holy Virgin (1575) with an exceptional 16th century binding in French Renaissance style was purchased.
This exhibition will show these marvellous bindings, together with a selection of bindings that have been acquired thanks to the support of the Bestendig Dotatiefonds voor de Stadsbibliotheek en het Museum Plantin-Moretus. The patronage of this circle of friends, which was founded on 23 December 1905, and which will celebrate its centennial in 2005, has contributed to a considerable extent to the realization of the present treasure now to be seen in the Plantin-Moretus Museum.
This exhibition will also include Plantin bindings from the collections of, amongst others, the library of the Escorial (Spain), the Bodleian Library (Oxford) and the Royal Library (Brussels and The Hague).