Like many wealthy citizens in the Dutch Golden Age, the Amsterdam civil servant Jacob de Wilde collected coins, gems, and small sculptures from Antiquity. Much has already been written about these collections, but De Wilde’s book collection has been largely neglected. This article focuses on his library.
The article (developing a paper presented at 2010 SHARP international conference) investigates the ways grand Faust editions from the 1850s and 1870s make sense as equivocal cultural objects migrating within and beyond Germany. Scholars have focused on these imposing tomes to herald the play as expression of a nation-centred claim, with Faust as heroic myth. This interpretation relied on costly plates and external characteristics for principal evidence. This article instead draws attention to circulation, transformations and fuller readings of these items, combining first-hand research in many collections. On the one hand, it looks into the editorial versions as adjustable to different audiences and cultures, using editorial data, reception evidence, and image analysis. On the other, it shows how fuller readings of a tome, based on material, symbolic and archival evidence, tell two different stories. This study of a text’s print apparel and circulation, at odds with its significance as a national myth, has implications well beyond this singular work.
This article discusses the survival of Adriaen Koerbagh’s Bloemhof, a controversial work confidently claimed to be rare in bibliographies and in antiquarian booksellers’ catalogues. So far, more than 70 copies have been found worldwide, in libraries and in private collections. Contemporary annotations provide additional biographical information on Koerbagh’s arrest and imprisonment. The reception of Bloemhof in Dutch and—mainly—German bibliographies is also discussed in the article. An appendix with surviving copies has been added.