CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Rijksmuseum Appoints Alex Alsemgeest as Curator of Library Collections

Alex Alsemgeest is the new Curator of Library Collections at the Rijksmuseum. He has been appointed as the successor of Geert Jan Koot, who will retire in September 2021 after 33 years of employment at the museum.

Alex Alsemgeest (b. 1980) studied History at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University. He has worked on the opening up of the collections of the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and numerous other institutions, and was previously attached to Uppsala University, the House of Representatives of the Netherlands, and Trinity College Dublin. Alsemgeest will remain connected with Trinity College Library until August 2021, as the leader of a joint project with the KB.

Alex Alsemgeest (photo: Olga Rook)

Geert-Jan Koot (b. 1955) is bidding farewell to the Rijksmuseum after 33 years, having been Head of the Rijksmuseum Research Library since 1988. In this role, he was an important figure in the art library landscape, domestically and internationally. In 2016 he became the Rijksmuseum’s first Curator of the Library Collections, a new position arising from the merger of the Rijksmuseum Research Library, the Information Collection department and the Reading Room to form the Research Services department. Before joining the Rijksmuseum, Geert-Jan Koot worked at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Institute for the History of Art at the University of Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum Research Library is one of the museum’s four collection departments, alongside the Fine Arts, History and Print Room departments. The Rijksmuseum Research Library is one of the world’s most important art libraries. From its home in the grand Cuypers Library building, the Rijksmuseum Research Library has since 1885 been continuously expanding its collection of publications that are closely or loosely connected to the collections and the activities of the museum. The core collection of the library is itself worthy of its own museum. The entire collection comprises approximately 450,000 volumes.

Source: Rijksmuseum's press release, 1 March 2021