The Devotion of Collecting

Dutch Ministers and the Culture of Print in the Seventeenth Century


The history of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century cannot be adequately told without considering ministers’ understanding of print, and how they used print to encourage godliness and the nature of their personal libraries. This study is built upon an examination of 234 auction catalogues of ministerial collections, nearly all that are known to survive, and the transcription of fifty-five of these catalogues. Libraries were possessions of central importance to the ministers who owned them. Knowing the kinds of print with which ministers interacted provides us with valuable insights into the daily life of a minister and the culture of the era. So, what books did these central theological figures own and how did they use them?

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Forrest C. Strickland, Ph.D. (2020, University of St Andrews) is Adjunct Professor of Church History at Boyce College, Louisville, Kentucky. He has published several essays on ministers and the culture of print during the Dutch Golden Age.
List of Figures and Tables

1 Ministers and Their Books in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic
 1 The Rise of the Book Auction Catalogue in the Netherlands
 2 The Dutch Context
 3 Available with the Booksellers
 4 Sold at Auction

2 That All May Be Instructed
 1 Print and Piety
 2 The Difficulty of the ‘Reformed’ Republic
 3 Vainglorious and Irreverent Books
 4 ‘I Must Have the New Tidings’
 5 Printers and the Dissemination of Piety
 6 The Book and Pen
 7 Creatures of the Book

3 Buyers of Truth
 1 Between Opulence and Poverty
 2 Dusty Attics
 3 The Home of the Muses
 4 The Legion of Books
 5 Learned Men
 6 Dwelling in Sparta

4 Guardians of the Faith
 1 The Academy of Academies
 2 The More Sound Schoolmen
 3 Our Doctors
 4 Learning from the Britons
 5 Trained in Righteousness

5 Learned Servants
 1 Men of Letters
 2 The Philosophers
 3 Roads of the Sun
 4 Amateur Physicians
 5 They That Bear Silver
 6 Reading the Stars
 7 Learned Servants

Conclusion: The Ideal Ministerial Library
 1 Timeless and Timely Libraries
 2 Ministerial Libraries in a Golden Age
 3 The Ideal Ministerial Library

Appendix: Analysed Ministerial Library Catalogues
Specialists in book history and church history, practitioners interested in how personal libraries were acquired. Keywords: libraries, print, ministers, theology, religious culture, Dutch Golden Age, auction catalogues.
  • Collapse
  • Expand