The Dutch book trade, Christian Enlightenment and the national bibliography. The catalogues of Johannes van Abkoude (1703-60) and Reinier Arrenberg (1733-1812)

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In the 'genealogy' of Dutch national bibliographies there follows - after the Catalogus universalis by Broer Jansz and lists published by Johannes Janssonius van Waesberge between 1675 and 1684 - a hand-written booksellers catalogue by Pieter van der Aa in Leiden. It was copied, augmented and published in 1743 by his pupil Johannes van Abkoude. Publication was accompanied by conflicts with several rivals, like Bernardus Noordbeek in Amsterdam and Nicolaas Goetzee in Gorinchem. Van Abkoude defeated his colleagues' disputes thanks to the quality and public function of his work. It was not only intended for booksellers, but also for book lovers, especially for persons with a theological interest. Reinier Arrenberg, coming from a comparable religious lay culture, developed into a follower of the Christian but tolerant Dutch Enlightenment. Inspired by learned people and other socially involved individuals he himself promoted 'the education of the people' by composing, translating and publishing stories for young and old. His revised new edition of Van Abkoude's catalogue is characterised by the removal of all small publications, such as pamphlets, popular literature and religious or political controversial writings for the reason that they were no longer commercially important. The booksellers catalogues reflected the eighteenth-century developments of levelling up book prices and marketing copyrights. As precursors of national bibliographies the catalogues of Van Abkoude, Arrenberg and De Jong will keep their value.


A Journal Devoted to Manuscripts and Printed Books



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