Dutch Typography in the Sixteenth Century

The Collected Works of Paul Valkema Blouw


When compiling the short-title catalogue of books printed in the sixteenth-century northern Netherlands from 1541 to 1600, Paul Valkema Blouw was confronted with a large number of ‘problem cases’, such as anonymously and/or surreptitiously printed editions, fictitious printers and undated or falsely dated printed works.
By minutely analysing the typefaces, initials, vignettes and other ornaments used, drawing from his extensive knowledge of secondary literature, archival information and his unrivalled typographic memory, he not only managed to attribute a surprising number of these publications to a printer, but also could establish the period of time in which, as well as the places where, they must have been printed.
These findings and the ways in which they were reached are described in the present collection of papers. They are of paramount importance to scholars engaged in research of the period concerned, whether in the field of church history, national history or book history

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Biographical Note

Paul Valkema Blouw (1916-2000) spent the first 35 years of his professional career in the antiquarian book trade, working in Utrecht and Amsterdam, Netherlands, as auctioneer, dealer and bibliographer of early printed and rare books. Thereafter he devoted his time to typographical, bibliographical and book historical studies. Between 1979 and 2000 he published 36 papers and the two-volume Typographia Batava. A Repertory of Books Printed in the Northern Netherlands between 1541 and 1600 (1998).

Paul Dijstelberge (1956) studied Dutch Language and Literature, Book History and Byzantinology at the University of Amsterdam. He is a Curator in the Special Collections section of Amsterdam University Library, obtained a Ph.D. in 2007 and teaches Book History in the Department of Book and Manuscript Studies, University of Amsterdam. He has published in the fields of literature and book history. In 2012 he has become a member of the editorial board of Quærendo.

Ton Croiset van Uchelen (1936) studied English Language and Literature and Book History at the University of Amsterdam. Until his retirement he was Chief Curator and Deputy Librarian of Amsterdam University Library and was Editor (1970-89) and Senior Editor (1990-2011) of Quærendo. He has regularly published book historical papers, mainly concerned with 16th to 18th-century calligraphy of the Low Countries.

Review Quotes

“Paul Valkema Blouw (1916-2000) was one of the great bibliographers of the twentieth century. His work is an example of the painstaking craftsmanship essential to the recovery of the past. […] In the investigation of the underground print culture of the Dutch Revolt, it is unlikely this work will ever be equalled or superseded. Valkema Blouw was a true pioneer: it is right that his extraordinary learning and influential insights should be honoured by this fine collection of his work.”
Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews.

“Valkema Blouw’s essays will be of great importance for a long period”.
Willem Heijting, Amsterdam. In: Quaerendo, Vol. 45, nos. 1-2 (2015), pp. 157-162.

Table of contents

Preface by Andrew Pettegree

Introduction by Ton Croiset van Uchelen

Printers and Publishers in Delft: the First Century

Propaganda for the Indulgence of Saintes

The Leiden ‘Afdrucksel’. A Type Specimen of the Press of Willem Silvius in Its Last Days (1582)

Printers to Hendrik Niclaes: Plantin and Augustijn van Hasselt

Mennonitica and Bibliographical Research

Of Frisian Origin: the Chronyc Historie, Noortwitz 1579

Augustijn van Hasselt as a Printer in Vianen and Wesel

The Secret Background of Lenaert der Kinderen’s Activities, 1562 to 1567

A Further Book Printed in Vianen and Wesel

Gillis Coppens van Diest as an Underground Printer, 1566 to 1567

Plantin’s Relations with Hendrik Niclaes

A Haarlem Press in Sedan and Emden, 1561 to 1569. [Part one: Haarlem], [Part two: Sedan and Emden]

The First Printers to the City of Leiden, Jan Moyt Jacobsz and Andries Verschout, 1574 to 1578

Nicolaes Biestkens van Diest, in duplo, 1558 to 1583

An Unknown Mennonite Press in Friesland

Willem Silvius’ Remarkable Start, 1559 to 1562

Printers for Menno Simons and Dirk Philips

Printers to the ‘Arch-Heretic’ David Joris Prolegomena to a Bibliography of his Works

The Antwerp Years of Niclaes Mollijns, 1579 to 1586

The Printer of Menno’s First ‘Ban Book’

A Forgotten Underground Printer: Herman ’t Zangers in Steenwijk
1565 to 1580

The Van Oldenborch and Vanden Merberghe Pseudonyms, or Why Frans Fraet Had to Die

Was Plantin a Member of the Family of Love? Notes on his Dealings with Hendrik Niclaes

Predated Protestant Works in Nijhoff-Kronenberg

Willem Silvius, Christiaen Houweel and Anti-Spanish Propaganda, 1577 to 1579

A Cologne Printer Working for William of Orange: Godfried Hirtzhorn Jr., 1568 to 1572 [including: The ‘Puncten’ (Points) Attributed to Alva]

Plantin’s Clandestine Activities, 1555 to 1583

A Printer in Four Countries: Albert Christiaensz in Vianen, Sedan, Emden and Norwich, 1565 to 1570

Early Protestant Publications in Antwerp, 1526 to 1530. The Pseudonyms Adam Anonymus in Basel and Hans Luft in Marlborow

The First Printer in Leeuwarden: Johannes Petreius

The International Career of an Emden Printer: Goossen Goebens, 1560 to 1576

An Unknown Dutch Printer in Germany: Nicolaes Gevaerts in Wesel and Homberg, 1571 to 1579 (1580?)

Jan Canin in Wesel, and in Emmerich?

Printed in Holland: the Anonymous Temporis filia Veritas, [Leiden] 1589

The Anonymous Work of Gillis van den Rade, Antwerp 1577 to 1585

The First Prohibited Book in the Netherlands: Summa der Godliker Scrifturen (1523)

List of the book-historical papers as originally published




Netherlands, Sixteenth Century, Typography, Book History, Bibliography

Index Card

Collection Information