Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews
Arthur der Weduwen, University of St Andrews
Pour citer cet article
What was Published in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic?
by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen
It is universally recognised that the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic was a highly literate society. To contemporaries this was ‘the bookshop of the world’, a universal emporium where books published throughout Europe could be furnished for sale or re-export.1 The greatest products of the Dutch press – the atlases of Janssonius and Blaeu, the Elzevier small-format literary works – are rightly celebrated, and offer a vision of polished elegance that seems to epitomise the sophistication and business innovation we see in so many aspects of the Dutch economy. But works like these, or the Latin texts that fill the pages of catalogues offered to wealthy buyers abroad, were not necessarily those that would appeal to less sophisticated domestic purchasers.
For these newly empowered readers, men and women (or perhaps, more properly, households), buying books in any number for the first time, the domestic market, and domestic production, was far more important than books brought in from other European markets. It is these books, by far the least well studied aspect of the Dutch book trade, on which we will focus in what follows.
The Dutch Republic was undoubtedly the most vibrant hub of the seventeenth-century book trade. The Dutch produced, and consumed, more printed items per head than any other people in Europe, and by quite some considerable margin2. We will attempt to reconstruct the output of the seventeenth-century Dutch press, based partly on surviving copies and partly on our own investigations and extrapolations from a variety of archival and other sources. We will employ techniques for the recovery of lost books honed in the St Andrews book research group over the last years, but never before applied to the book world of the Dutch Golden Age.3
Scholars interested in the book culture of the Dutch Republic start with a very considerable advantage with the Short Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN), a collective catalogue of books published in the Netherlands, mostly (though not exclusively) located in Dutch libraries.4 Carefully planned and well-resourced, the bibliographical team gathered by the STCN undertook a book-in-hand examination of all the major Dutch library collections, comparing different copies of the same text with the help of the excellent STCN fingerprint system, a unique identifier that allows for a rapid comparison between the copy in hand and other copies located elsewhere. Through this work the STCN added to the corpus of known works thousands of new editions, and identified many previously unknown texts. The importance of this resource cannot be stressed too highly. Whereas the book world of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the first age of print, has been subject to thorough bibliographical attention throughout Europe, so far surveys exist for only three of the major book markets in the seventeenth century: England (ESTC), Germany (VD17) and now the Netherlands. Students of the book world of the Dutch Golden Age are already in a privileged position with the existence of this fine resource.
Like all bibliographical tools, however, the STCN has limitations, many of them self-imposed. There are several classes of work excluded from the terms of reference of the project – incorrectly in our view, but at least following the precedent set by the earlier German project, VD16, though the seventeenth-century successor to VD16, VD17, reinstated some of these excluded categories, such as broadsheets. The STCN team also concentred almost exclusively on books in libraries, ignoring archival holdings; and archives, as we will see, hold a lot of printed material, and print of very particular kinds. The STCN also confined its work-plan to libraries inside the Netherlands. Co-operation with major British collections, notably the British Library and Cambridge University Library, has added an important cache of additional materials (including many unique copies), but this apart coverage of works now located outside the Netherlands is fragmentary. Belgian holdings, for instance, are almost entirely excluded. And no attempt has been made to integrate books known from contemporary archival references or printed sources that have not to this point been identified in a surviving copy in a public collection. These ‘lost books’ will, as we will see, play an important part in our investigation.
The STCN is therefore incomplete, and indeed deliberately so. It is no disrespect to its editors to point this out, since the terms of reference of the project are clearly stated in the commentary that accompanies the resource online. It is nevertheless the case that the extent to which the STCN falls short of a full survey of Dutch book production is not widely appreciated, and indeed has never before been fully investigated.5 It is also the contention of the present article that the STCN’s terms of reference privilege certain types of print over others in a way that skews our understanding of the whole range of materials available to Dutch readers, either for sale, or because they were distributed for free. This latter phenomenon, the distribution of printed texts for free, is one only now beginning to receive systematic investigation among book historians. We therefore contend that in order to understand the culture of literacy in the Dutch Republic, it is first necessary, as far as this is possible, to recreate the full inventory of books and other printed material originally published, and therefore available to Dutch readers. We are of course aware that much of what would have been available to Dutch readers was published outside the Dutch Republic; this is, not least, clear enough from the surviving catalogues of auctions of private collections.
The STCN currently contains approximately 70,000 items published in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic – when we take into account the likely size of print runs, this would represent something between forty and sixty million copies.6 We will demonstrate that this represents only a fifth of the total printed matter (in terms of editions) published during this period. Much of this excluded matter – partly excluded deliberately and partly now recovered by our own investigations – played a material part in shaping the public information and reading culture that was so characteristic of the ‘Miracle of the Dutch Republic’ in this period. It cannot be ignored if we wish to know why Dutch citizens thought and acted as they did.
Part I: Excluded categories
We begin our survey with categories of material explicitly excluded from the STCN. It bears repetition that in integrating them into our survey here, no criticism is intended of colleagues who undertook that Herculean task. In excluding the categories of material discussed below, they followed some bibliographical precedents, and also the practical limitations of a funded project. Many of the excluded categories, as we will see, survive far better in archives than in the libraries included in the terms of the STCN, and in some cases more often abroad than in Dutch repositories. It is nevertheless true that in the particular case of the Dutch Republic these were genres that played an important role both in the economics of the publishing industry and in the buying choices of potential readers.
The seventeenth century was the age of the newspaper. From the first establishment of a weekly printed news serial in Strasbourg in 1605, newspapers spread rapidly through the urban cultures of northern Europe.7 With its highly literate population and vibrant economy, the Dutch Republic was not surprisingly an early adopter of the fresh news medium. By 1619 there were two competing weekly papers in Amsterdam, both of which were sustained for more than half a century. By the 1640s they had been joined by four other rival ventures, a measure of diversification unequalled in Europe. In the course of the century papers were established in eight other Dutch cities, and the weekly gave way to biweekly and triweekly publication.8
In 2017 Arthur der Weduwen published the first complete survey of Dutch newspapers published in the seventeenth century (news serials published in the Southern Netherlands are also included in his study, but do not concern us here).9 The compilation of the accompanying bibliography required a search in over 80 repositories (libraries and archives) located in some thirteen countries. Major collections are to be found in London, Paris, Stockholm and Moscow (a clue to their contemporary interest to statesmen in the capitals of the Republic’s major competitors). Der Weduwen is able to offer a full account of surviving examples of some forty-nine titles, including a number discovered for the first time in the course of this enquiry.10
The Dutch papers amount to just under 14,000 surviving issues. French-language papers published in the Dutch Republic, not included in the Der Weduwen volume but previously surveyed by Pierre Rétat, would contribute at least 7,500 issues, while English, Italian, Spanish and Yiddish newspapers printed in Amsterdam would add another 1,000 at least.11 Dutch newspapers, like other forms of ephemeral print in the period, have very low survival rates. Over sixty per cent of the issues listed in Der Weduwen’s survey survive in a single copy. The predominant Dutch style of newspaper publication as a single double-sided half-sheet, pioneered in the Amsterdam papers and later widely followed, militated against binding and storage (see fig. 1). Titles published as pamphlets were far easier to accommodate on library shelves, but this was by and large not the Dutch way: the single half-sheet was exceptionally economic in terms of paper use, allowing for a lower price and putting newspapers within the range of a far wider customer base.
For the purpose of this survey, however, we need to be able to assess not only how many issues may currently be located, but how many may originally have been published. The Der Weduwen newspaper survey thus allows us to put to the test our principles of extrapolation – that is, the identification of issues certainly published, but not yet known to have survived.12 Our approach to this work of reconstruction is here, as with other classes of literature, inherently cautious. In the case of newspapers we have the great advantage that most serials were numbered. So if number fifteen survives, we can be reasonably confident that numbers one to fourteen were also published, even if now lost. If we have issues for the following year also, we can assume the existence of issues sixteen onwards for the rest of the year. Abraham Casteleyn’s Oprechte Haerlemse Courante survives in a magnificent series from the year 1665 through to the end of the century: only the volumes for the years 1681-1682 have unaccountably disappeared.13 We can be pretty certain that they were indeed published, as by this point the Oprechte Haerlemse Courante was the Dutch Republic’s newspaper of record; if publication had been interrupted we would certainly know of this from the correspondence of distressed subscribers, notes in official archives, or the comments of rival publishers keen to fill the gap. In this case, we inferred publication for the missing issues from these years; as it happens a few stray issues for 1681 and 1682 did indeed turn up in London and Moscow to vindicate this decision.
This provides a useful example of the sort of scholarly logic we have applied to the work laid out here: reinstating a lost book where the overwhelming balance of probability points this way. It is not impossible that a serial would be inaugurated with number fifteen on its masthead, but it would be hard to construct a plausible reason why. Applying these cautious principles gives us a total of some 25,000 issues for the Dutch-language newspapers; the French issues contribute a further 7,500 surviving issues and 9,000 inferred. This, it must be emphasised, is a low estimate, and the real total may be double this – for many newspapers survival is too fragmentary to allow for reconstruction of lost issues. It is perfectly possible that in the last decades of the seventeenth century one in every three publications available for sale to Dutch consumers was the issue of a newspaper. Their role in shaping the reading practice and political perspectives of Dutch citizens (and precisely which Dutch citizens) is one that must be considered.
By the middle of the seventeenth century the use of print for communicating (and explaining) new regulations was ubiquitous throughout Europe. Some state regulations were published as pamphlets and some as broadsheets to be posted, or distributed by hand to interested parties. Local cultures differed. Some towns, as in France, relied mostly on oral proclamation reinforced by printed pamphlets. Others, like the Dutch Republic, made heavy use of both pamphlets and broadsheets, still following the ceremonial and judicially necessary public oral proclamation.14
Pamphlet editions of official regulations are included within the terms of reference of the STCN (though not, as we show below, represented in full); broadsheets are not. Even if they had been, they survive largely in the archives not included in the STCN programme of searches, rather than in the libraries inspected. The amount of printed material involved is potentially enormous. The Dutch Republic is unusual for its complex layered structure of jurisdictions, with the right to make law, and raise taxes, divided between the States General – the overarching assembly of the seven United Provinces, individual provinces, and the municipalities.15 Other state institutions, such as the Admiralties, and quasi-state institutions, such as the East and West India Companies, also issued broadsheet ordinances (see fig. 2).
We can now enumerate 107 jurisdictions that at some point or other issued printed ordinances in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic (see table 1). These ranged from the incessant law-making of the States of Holland and major cities, to far smaller jurisdictions, such as the town of Weesp or the Lords of Walcheren. To capture all the surviving issues would require a full survey of every state, provincial, regional and municipal archive, as well as a search of libraries abroad; such a survey is now underway. Then we must also come to an educated judgement about what proportion this represents of the total originally published. Here we can be to some extent guided by what we know of the output of the Plantin press in Antwerp. The Plantin-Moretus archive contains file copies of almost every item published by Plantin and his successors on behalf of the ruling authorities, as well as the surplus undistributed stock of a large number.16 We know from this what the range of such urban legislation was likely to be in towns of cognate size like Amsterdam, Leiden and Haarlem, even allowing for variations of local culture and contingent events.
In the last decades of the sixteenth century the Plantin press published around 50 ordinances each year, and in the torrid years of the 1580s around 60-75 a year. We know from a fine run of surviving copies that the city of Leiden also published something in excess of 30 or 40 ordinances a year already in the 1590s.17 With these figures in mind it seems plausible to assume that cities like Leiden, Amsterdam and Haarlem were publishing between 50 and 60 ordinances a year during the course of the seventeenth century. Smaller cities certainly published fewer, and here we can distinguish between places like Delft, Deventer and Groningen, which most likely issued around 30 ordinances a year, and smaller places like Alkmaar and Gorinchem where output was most likely in the low double digits (see table 2).
Extrapolating these figures across the century, adding the national and state authorities, and computing for all 107 jurisdictions, would give us a striking figure of some 95,000 separate editions. This seems almost fantastical, but when we introduce corroborative archival evidence, this suggests that our estimate may, if anything, be somewhat on the low side. The States General and the individual provinces all appointed an official printer, as did many municipalities, and this printer had the privilege and responsibility of printing everything mandated by the local magistrates. The work, to judge from surviving archival records, was well paid. In smaller places this was necessary to ensure the viability of a local press, but such generous compensation was evident even in cities like Leiden or Amsterdam with multiple local print shops. In 1646 the Leiden stadsdrukker Jan Claesz van Dorp received 212 gulden, almost half the annual income of a Dutch household, for the printing of ordinances for 18 months.18 Haarlem stadsdrukkers received 300 gulden a year for their official work, a very similar figure to Plantin’s annual contract.19 In Alkmaar in 1642 the stadsdrukker Ijsbrant Jansz van Houten received 113 gulden and 14 stuivers specifically for the “printing of various letters, namely statutes, ordinances and others”.20 The Moulert family in Middelburg, who printed for the States of Zeeland during the first half of the seventeenth century, received c.450 gulden a year for the printing of ordinances and tax forms.21 Johannes (III) van Ravesteyn, stadsdrukker of Amsterdam, was paid the enormous sum of 1,843 gulden and 3 stuivers for the printing of ordinances and forms for the city in 1659; earlier in the seventeenth century this figure was usually around 1,000 gulden.22 Hillebrant (II) van Wouw, the printer of the States General and States of Holland between 1661 and 1669, became one of the richest inhabitants of The Hague. Even so, when he decided to resign the position of States’ printer in 1669, the government was sixty thousand gulden in arrears with its payment: a sum which equates to over one hundred times the annual salary of a minister in the Reformed Church in these years.
The average pay rate for 100 broadsheet ordinances in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic was around 50-70 stuivers. Thus the payments specified above equate to an enormous amount of work, even if we adopt the higher figure for unit cost (70 stuivers for 100 sheets): the recorded payments would represent 13,000 sheets per annum in Middelburg, 8,500 in Haarlem, and 3,200 sheets in Alkmaar. The 1,843 gulden paid to Van Ravesteyn in Amsterdam in 1659 would have bought over 52,000 sheets of ordinances and forms. In cities like Haarlem or Alkmaar the council generally required no more than one or two hundred copies of each ordinance; if this was so, and unless the work was seriously overcompensated, the number of individual jobs would have been larger than our estimate by some distance.
We ultimately cannot ignore this particularly prominent category of ephemeral print, not least because this sort of work was important both to the economics of the publishing industry and to the shaping of the political culture of the Dutch Republic. In the complex hierarchy of authorities in the Dutch Republic, ordinances played a vital role, not only in communicating tax demands and regulations, but in explaining policy. Most published ordinances opened with a substantial preamble, explaining why a measure was necessary. Sometimes it laid out who had lobbied in its favour, or even why an earlier regulation had been withdrawn after complaints. It is perfectly plausible that many Dutch citizens got more news – particularly news relevant to their local community – from these ordinances than from the newspapers, for which the cost of a subscription might well have been out of reach. Printed ordinances provided a vital underpinning of the peculiarly participatory political culture of the Dutch Republic.
From the diplomatic bag
In 1669 the Dutch authorities took a decision with momentous consequences for the practice of government. In future, if five or more copies of a document were required to be circulated they would henceforth be printed.23 This regulation seems to have been unique in seventeenth-century Europe, and in the devolved and participatory governmental structure of the Dutch Republic would obviously have increased very substantially the amount of official print in circulation.
The magistrates were well aware of the security implications of such an order, particularly with documents intended largely for circulation in restricted circles. The regulation specified carefully that should this entail the printing of confidential documents, the States’ printer was not to leave the shop during the printing process, and must himself personally deliver the stock of copies into the hands of the responsible official.24 This new work added greatly to the burdens of the States’ printer, but also potentially very significantly to his emoluments. The appointed successor to Van Wouw, Jacobus (I) Scheltus, was able to forgo all other work and concentrate exclusively on his work publishing official documents.
We first became aware of the enormous potential implications for print culture of this regulation when examining the pamphlet volumes of the Fagel collection in Dublin.25 For the latter part of the seventeenth century these volumes are clearly the working papers of the Grand Pensionary, Gaspar Fagel, or his brother Hendrik, the griffier. Folded in among the pamphlets in these volumes are a considerable number of broadsheets, including a number of neat folio half-sheets which appeared to be the printed versions of reports of Dutch diplomats abroad. Further investigation revealed a far larger collection in the Dutch National Archives in The Hague.26
These documents, mostly broadsheets, occasionally bifolia, were the regular reports of the network of Dutch ambassadors or consular residents throughout Europe. As far as we can establish from conversation with scholars working in the field, they seem to have been totally unstudied, and virtually unknown.27 They represent, however, a mass of printed material. For the seventeenth century the National Archives have three large volumes, representing the incoming reports from 1680, 1684 and 1695. The volume for 1680, which appears to be uncirculated stock (with many duplicates), contains 323 distinct items; the volume for 1684, a reference collection most likely bound by the secretariat of the States General, many more. All told, if these three years are representative for the last three decades of the seventeenth century, this would imply a total of some 15,000 print jobs for the States’ printer.
At present we have no indication of how many copies of each were printed, or exactly for whom they were intended. The content is often quite mundane. Although rather longer and more detailed than the reports in the newspapers, they do not differ substantially in terms of their tone or confidentiality from the sort of news subscribers might have access to from the Oprechte Haerlemse Courante. On one occasion, when a returning diplomatic agent was briefly employed to provide a digest of incoming reports, the result reads very much like a newspaper. We have come across only a few instances where the rubric ‘secret’ on the top of the first page implied that the printer would be subjected to the onerous procedures described above. It is in any case quite likely that agile newsmen might have sight of the contents, or at least an accurate précis, of many of these incoming reports. Newspapermen were frequently rebuked, and sometimes punished, for including in their reports material obtained from loose-tongued public employees.28 The practice of hanging around the Binnenhof to pick up scraps of gossip was deplored, but in the competitive news world ultimately unstoppable; besides, it sometimes suited Their High Mightinesses for apparently confidential information to be more widely known. In this way what was ostensibly intended as a private medium of print probably had more public salience than would immediately appear; to what extent this was the case would bear further investigation.
Prices and speculations
Many of the genres of print we have so far considered are relatively ephemeral, single sheets or even half sheets. But none have such a fugitive existence as the price courants, weekly bulletins of commodity prices published for the benefit of merchants trading goods in Amsterdam and elsewhere.29 The price courants developed from informal manuscript lists, through an intermediary stage as printed forms into which the prices of a set list of commodities could be entered by hand, to the fully printed sheets published weekly under the supervision of a nominated board of brokers.
Although known to have been published in a continuous weekly sequence since at least 1624, their survival is extremely sporadic, reflecting their limited currency: for after a single week they were superseded by a new list, and so could be disposed of. Little care was taken of their printing, which was necessarily rushed; when cut from the sheets where several copies were presumably printed side by side, the lists are simple vertical slips approximately 14 by 46 centimetres, crammed with text on both the front and back sides.30 Only a couple of hundred of an original sequence of approximately 4,000 issues survive for the seventeenth century, mostly due to the tenacity of a single collector, the economic historian N.W. Posthumus.
Surviving examples indicate that at different times the price currents were also issued in English, French and Italian for the convenience of foreign merchants. In those cases we have not inferred missing issues, since it cannot be demonstrated that the translated versions were issued in a continuous sequence over a longer period. A few more may at some point emerge from merchants’ correspondence, though they are unlikely to impact on our understanding of a form of print whose modest appearance belies its role as an essential lubricant of the world’s most sophisticated trading market.
The Amsterdam market was also served by regular lists of currency exchange rates, though in the seventeenth century these seem never to have evolved beyond the hybrid print/manuscript form of printed lists of currencies onto which the exchange rates could be inscribed by hand.31 This facilitated a more flexible distribution of lists in times of financial turbulence and rapid fluctuations in exchanges, but it is impossible to know how often the lists required to be reprinted, and therefore how many editions there would have been. This is true of other types of forms generated by the Dutch financial markets. The most sought after of these souvenirs of early Dutch economic innovation have been the financial instruments (sometimes erroneously described as share certificates) used in connection with the trading of shares in the Dutch East-India Company (VOC). Contracts for the transfer of a capital investment in the Company were printed in identical halves on one sheet, to be signed by both parties and then divided between them.32 Because by tradition the document was torn up and disposed of on fulfilment of the contract, remaining examples are extremely rare, and command an astonishing value when they are put on the market today. A receipt provided for payment of a pledged investment in 1606 was offered for sale in 2006 by its owners, a German financial consortium, for six million Euros.33 This is quite an accolade for a simple printed form of fourteen lines of text, which in its own day would have been wholly unremarkable.
To the ends of the earth
The seventeenth century, in the resonant words of R.C. Bakhuizen van den Brink, was the era in which ‘the Dutch took fame by storm’.34 This was a society that had always lived from the sea, with a dominant role in the local fisheries and an increasingly important part to play in trans-European trade from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. In the sixteenth century the Dutch were among the many in northern Europe who followed the Spanish and Portuguese achievements in opening up new routes to the East Indies and Americas; their scholars and publishers carefully noted the implications of these discoveries for cartography.35 It was inevitable, as the new state grew in wealth and confidence, that Dutch mariners and investors would wish first to emulate, and then to challenge the achievements of the Iberian nations. From the triumphant return of the first East Indian fleet in 1597, bringing the promise of new luxuries for Dutch consumers and riches for its merchants, the Dutch were transfixed by the prospects of global empire. Fuelled by tales of daring-do penned by returned captains and given spice by a tough and unscrupulous contest between publishing firms for the most recent and accurate cartographical information, the world beyond became a national obsession.36 Naturally, the opportunities for the print industry were eagerly grasped.
Travel literature is of course well represented in the STCN, as it is in the world’s library collections. But the STCN’s terms of reference exclude one very important sub-genre of this literature, the news maps and illustrated accounts of Dutch victories published as broadsheets.37 These would usually be a woodcut or engraved illustration, accompanied or surrounded by printed text. In the case of an engraving, which necessitated a complex two press process if it was to be combined with moveable type, sometimes the printed matter was pasted onto the sheet – allowing, of course, the addition of multiple variant texts, either for different audiences (potentially in several languages), or as events developed (see fig. 3). This is only one of many challenges for the accurate cataloguing of this material. Lacking the convenience of a title-page which forms the cornerstone of all book cataloguing, broadsheets are always a challenge when it comes to the establishment of clear and universally understood cataloguing rules, but illustrated sheets especially so. Often it is not clear what precisely should be recorded, whether the first words of the accompanying text below the illustration, or the ‘title’ of the illustration, which may indeed be engraved into the plate, rather than the impression of moveable type.
These distinctions are important to historians of the book, but not necessarily to collectors of seventeenth-century prints. For such collectors, quite understandably, the interest lies mainly in the subject, the siege of Breda or the conquest of Bahia, or the skill of the contributing engraver, rather than the presence or absence of moveable type. This was certainly the case with the first great published catalogues, those of the Atlas van Stolk (now in Rotterdam) and the Muller collection (now in the Rijksmuseum), whose laconic descriptions focus mainly on the subject material. For the book historian wishing to determine their eligibility for a survey of printed material (the presence of moveable type), there is really no substitute for personal examination of each item. Even where items are individually described in library catalogues there is seldom sufficient information to determine whether we are dealing with additional copies of a known representation of a popular subject, or a new printing.
All told, to date we can document something in the region of 1,500 such illustrated news sheets and topographical sheets with printed text. These have been gathered from the Atlas van Stolk, the Muller collection, the British Library and elsewhere.38 As Roger Paas has demonstrated for his magisterial study of the Germany political broadsheets, this is one single-sheet genre that survived rather well.39 Such prints catered to a moneyed clientele, and were as likely to end up in a carefully arranged library collection as on the wall of a tavern.
The politics of information
Maps were bought for information, reference and also for collection. Each patriotic victory brought a surge of published topographical illustrations or satirical prints mocking defeated opponents. That map-making was an intensely politicised science was recognised by all the maritime powers. Shortly after their foundation, the West and East India Companies moved swiftly to establish a monopoly on the new discoveries brought back by their mariners and surveyors. But the market in political broadsheets was by no means confined to the maps and political prints so beloved of collectors. The conflicts of the seventeenth century also generated an unruly mass of small single sheets, celebrating triumph, bringing anxious news of sea battles and sieges, or excoriating domestic opponents.
In contrast to the elegant plano illustrated prints, with their costly engravings, this sort of material is seldom kept separately. Most often these fugitive sheets are to be found bound in with large pamphlet collections. The Knuttel pamphlet collection in the Royal Library in The Hague, the starting point (and sadly too often the end point) for many studies of Dutch pamphlet literature, contains almost 2,000 single sheets published before 1700, all carefully excluded from the STCN. To do so is of course to impede any true understanding of the political culture of the day, for these single sheets played a vital role in making sense of the turmoil of events. More immediate than the pamphlets that followed, and often published in the middle of developing events, these fliers were certainly a more flexible medium than the newspapers bound by their regular publishing schedule – some indeed were extra issues printed by newspapermen to avoid losing their market. This was the most ephemeral of print, published to be posted up, handed out to passers-by, or run off in a hundred copies for a pedlar to exploit a sudden news sensation. Some, but by no means all, were published without imprint, and a surprising number of Dutch publishers were engaged in this market, from provincial booksellers for whom this might be their only known publication, to the official publishers of the States General turning out official bulletins of ongoing campaigns.
Reconstructing this literature is painstaking work; it requires the careful examination of numerous pamphlet volumes. The Fagel pamphlets in Dublin generated some 300 broadsheet items; as numbers accumulate these have to be carefully described to determine whether they are new to bibliography or further copies of fliers discovered elsewhere. In addition to Knuttel, the pamphlet collections described by Tiele, Van Alphen, Van Someren, Van der Wulp and Petit all generate a considerable number.40 An estimate of 5,000 is conservative, a middle way between the several thousand already documented and the unknowable quantities never preserved. The fact that of the items we have documented over eighty per cent survive only in a single copy suggests a far higher rate of loss.
Part II: Augmenting the STCN
In all, this investigation of categories of print excluded from the STCN, mostly but not exclusively broadsheets, offers a grand total of some 178,000 items. This is the equivalent, in terms of editions, of the entire known printed output of Europe between 1450 and 1560. This addition more than triples the documented print for the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic as represented in the STCN. These 178,000 items can be added before we turn to classes of literature included in the terms of the STCN. Here we employ a variety of techniques to augment our understanding of the Dutch print world: the investigation of libraries not included in the STCN, the investigation of contemporary records documenting lost editions, and in one striking case, extrapolation.
The most obvious source of new editions are institutions not surveyed for the STCN. These are, by and large, libraries outside the Netherlands, though Dutch archives, so important for our survey of broadsheets, also offer some pamphlet editions not represented in the STCN.
When we undertook our survey of books published in French in the sixteenth century, we found that thirty per cent could not be traced in any French library.41 This will not necessarily be the case for the Netherlands. Customers abroad were less interested in adding books in Dutch to their collections than books in French, and collecting has been less intense since. Nevertheless, we do find considerable collections of Dutch books outside the Netherlands, though the largest of all, that of the British Library in London, has been incorporated into the STCN. Other major collections in Dublin, Paris, Germany, the United States and particularly in Belgium have not been incorporated, and these deliver a rich harvest of new editions. In addition, the Dutch Republic was a major centre of Latin and French publication, books often destined largely for dissemination in the international market, and these will further augment our total.
As part of our continuation of the USTC into the seventeenth century up to 1650, we have made a fairly thorough survey of books published in the Netherlands now in libraries abroad. This generated a further 5,000 editions, an addition of 22% to the 23,000 editions already in the STCN. If this same pattern were to be repeated with the larger sample available for the second half of the century, this would give us a total of around 15,000 new editions. This seems a plausible estimate, though the proportion of new works varies very greatly depending on genre. Our investigation of the 5,500 pamphlets in the Fagel collection of Trinity College Dublin, essentially a collection of quarto political pamphlets, generated just over 700 new items (only 13%). Other genres discussed below, such as book auction catalogues and the dissertations of Dutch universities and illustrious schools, survive far better abroad than in the Netherlands.
The Dutch invented neither the book nor the newspaper: their innovative genius was to devise means of making the book market work more smoothly, helping publishers find buyers and reducing the vast piles of unsold stock that so disfigured the market in other parts of Europe.42 Two innovations stand out – the introduction of advertisements in newspapers, and the precocious development of book sales catalogues, largely, but not exclusively, for auction sales. Both, as it turns out, offer a rich harvest of previously unidentified editions.
The first Dutch newspapers were published around 1618. By the mid-1620s the Amsterdam papers had begun to carry paid advertisements, normally tucked away discreetly at the bottom of the reverse side, after the news reports.43 The market developed gradually, but by the 1640s almost every issue contained one or more advertisements. In the first half of the century these were almost exclusively advertisements placed by publishers to announce their forthcoming new editions.
It seemed an obvious strategy to compare the titles advertised in the newspapers to our list of surviving editions, represented by the titles listed in the STCN augmented by the five thousand additional editions we have identified for the early seventeenth century in other libraries. The newspaper notices are of high bibliographical quality. They almost always give a full and literal title, and usually information on the author and format of publication. We also know the publisher and can infer the date, since publishers would generally pay the cost of advertising in the newspapers only to publicise new works.
The result of this comparison has been deeply revealing. Between 1621 and 1650 Dutch publishers placed advertisements for 1,231 book titles. Of these 800 could be matched to an existing edition; the remaining 431 could not.44 It appears from this that 35% of the books advertised in the papers before 1651 have not survived, even in a single copy. This is not at all surprising when we consider the sort of books advertised. Characteristically these are quarto or octavo editions of texts with wide market appeal: mathematical primers (the so-called cijfferboeken), almanacs, and devotional texts. Bibles, psalters and catechisms were advertised in multiple editions and multiple formats. These were books that we know had a low rate of survival. They were too large to be bound together in composite volumes (a process which explains why the pamphlets of the Remonstrant controversy survive so well). But they were too heavily used to make their way to the safe haven of the shelves of a library. They were used and then discarded. Books like this are relatively seldom listed in book auction catalogues; after use they scarcely had a residual value to justify the effort. Moreover, almost all the books advertised in the newspapers were vernacular texts; they had no place in the largely Latinate, scholarly world of the book auction.
After 1650 other professional groups and trades began to recognise the value of the newspapers to advertise their wares.45 The proportion of book advertisements therefore declines, though the number of advertisements included in each issue of the newspapers increases exponentially.
From an average of one or two advertisements an issue in the first half of the century, newspapers now often carried eight or ten, and some publishers advertised multiple titles. Taking all of this into account, we expect to identify another 8,000 books, of which 3,000 will plausibly be unknown from surviving copies. For the century as a whole we therefore anticipate adding a further 3,500 editions from our survey of newspaper advertisements.
Under the hammer
Book sales catalogues offer a similar wealth of bibliographical data.46 The first printed catalogue devoted exclusively to a book auction was published by Louis Elzevier in 1599, to mark the sale of the collection of the distinguished statesman and hero of the Dutch Revolt, Philips van Marnix van St Aldegonde. Rather as with newspaper advertising, the auction took some time to find its place in the economy of the domestic book market, not least because booksellers, for obvious reasons, feared their customers would look to auctions to augment their libraries rather than drop by their shops. But auctions ultimately became popular – indeed a cornerstone of the Dutch book trade – because they offered something to everyone involved in the business of books: buyers could enhance their collections, collectors or their heirs could liquidate an asset at speed, and booksellers could buy, sell and make a second income from acting as auctioneers. Since all transactions were settled immediately on conclusion of the auction (and in cash), auctions played a vital role in ensuring the liquidity of the market. Soon publishers were also using auctions to move slow-selling stock. They could of course also issue catalogues to advertise their own stock, and many did so.
The STCN includes around 350 book trade catalogues for the seventeenth century, a total that also includes the first institutional catalogues published by university and municipal libraries. But major collections also survive abroad: in Wolfenbüttel, Oxford, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome and elsewhere. Serious collectors would often purchase the catalogues of forthcoming auctions as a means of following the market, and identifying items they especially desired for their collections. These catalogues have attracted a great deal of interest from Dutch bibliographers; Brill’s Book Sales Catalogues Online, the heir to a substantial research project undertaken by a team of Dutch scholars, adds a further 1,500 seventeenth-century catalogues to those listed in the STCN.47 But we need not end our search here. The booksellers/auctioneers responsible for the sale would often turn to the newspapers to advertise the location of forthcoming auctions, and where the catalogues could be purchased. By analysing these advertisements, as we have now done, we can add a very considerable number of auction sales for which a catalogue was published that does not now survive. By the time we add archival references – the holding of an auction normally required the payment of a fee, and in some cases these have been systematically recorded in municipal records – the total known number of book sales catalogues, surviving or lost, approaches 3,800. The STCN thus records only ten per cent of the likely total of this remarkable and distinctively Dutch genre.
Closer analysis of the books listed for sale in these catalogues yields another rich harvest of lost books. This is material that is by no means always of the high bibliographical quality of the newspaper advertisements. The purpose of the auction was to obtain the best price for the seller (and the auctioneer, who took a generous fee).48 The compilers of the catalogues thus recorded only as much information as was relevant to this purpose. The larger and more valuable books were documented with some care, with full information on place and date of publication. For the smaller volumes this information would often be omitted, since it did not impact greatly on the price that could be expected – it does however make it far more difficult for us to match an entry to a particular surviving edition. Even more frustratingly pamphlets were often sold as bound volumes, with only the most general description, or simply as ‘packets’ of small books. For this area of the market we fare much better with publishers’ stock catalogues, which offer relatively complete information on format, place and date of publication.
When all this is taken into account auction catalogues offer us a large stock of high quality data, though by no means for all of the several million volumes that must have been traded by auction in the course of the century. Auction catalogues are more useful for the market in high quality Latin texts, and publishers’ catalogues for the vernacular market. We made our first experimental search in this area by analysing successive issues of the Catalogus Universalis, a collective catalogue of new books published in the Dutch Republic between 1639 and 1651 (see fig. 4).49 Modelled on the famous catalogues of the Frankfurt Fair, the books listed are fairly evenly divided between Dutch and Latin titles. This yielded some 2,333 titles, of which 37% turned out to be unknown. A rather higher proportion of the Latin titles could be matched than the Dutch, but by no means all: we still found over two hundred Latin titles we have not yet traced in a surviving copy. Interestingly, a fair number of the books not matched to a surviving copy could, however, be traced to an advertisement in one of the Amsterdam newspapers, a useful validation of this methodology. All told, when we have extended this search to the end of the century – and auction catalogues proliferate in the last two decades of the seventeenth century – we confidently expect to have documented a further 7,500 editions not yet known from surviving copies; indeed, this may be a low estimate.
The fate of a bestseller
In September 1643 the Amsterdam publisher Marten Jansz Brandt placed a very unusual advertisement in the Courante uyt Italien.50 As the owner of an exceptionally busy and successful publishing house, Brandt was a perennial presence in the advertising columns of the newspapers, and generally he offered his stock in trade: religious bestsellers. Usually he would advertise one or two books, but on 26 September 1643 he presented no fewer than eight books, all written by the Amsterdam preacher and prolific author Roelof Pietersz (1586-1649).
D. Roelof Pietersz, Het Lof Jesu Christi onses Heeren, already published in 1643; Item, Het Lof der kercke Jesu Christi, already published in 1643; Item, ‘t Lof des Woordts Godts, ofte der H. Schrifture, published in 1640; Item, Scherm ende Schilt der kinderen Godes, an explanation of psalm 91; Item, De Spiegel der Barmhertigheyt en Gerechtigheyt Gods, in het vergeven en straffen der sonden; Item, De Enge poorte, ofte de Wegh der Saligheyt; Item, Eenige korte gulden Regelen eenes heyligen levens; Item, Den Evangelischen Arendt (all enlarged and reviewed, and improved according to the new translation of the Bible) (all Amsterdam, Marten Jansz Brandt).51
Brandt knew his market. He had taken eight of his most successful publications and revised them to conform to the recently published Statenbijbel. Brandt had published the Scherm ende Schilt der kinderen Godes already in 1631 and 1636, and would do so again in 1644.52 De Spiegel der Barmhertigheyt en Gerechtigheyt Gods, in het vergeven en straffen der sonden was published in 1628, 1632, 1640 and 1644, in addition to this edition.53 For Eenige korte gulden Regelen eenes heyligen levens there are editions recorded for 1632, 1634, 1638 and 1641, all by Brandt.54 Den Evangelischen Arendt he published in 1637, 1639 and 1646.55 Interestingly, none of the eight editions advertised here in 1643 can be linked to a surviving edition.
This, indeed, may only be the tip of the iceberg. We can see that Roelof Pietersz’s Het Lof Jesu Christi onses Heeren is described as the second edition published in this same year, 1643. In the case of the De Enge poorte, ofte de Wegh der Saligheyt Brandt would republish this again in 1646, when it was described as the seventh edition.56 None of the previous editions have yet been traced.57 This sort of phenomenon is not at all unusual. In 1642 Brandt published Het Lof des Heeren, described in the advertisement in the Tijdinghen uyt verscheyde Quartieren as the ninth edition.58 This edition does survive, but we can document only one other of the previous eight. Two years later he offered an edition of Charles Drelincourt’s Gebeden en Meditatien om sich te bereyden tot het H. Avondtmael.59 Drelincourt (1595-1669) was a popular French preacher, and this was the sixth edition of a translation by the Beverwijk preacher, Gilles van Breen. This edition does not survive, and the only ones that do are an edition of 1639, and a further subsequent edition of 1649.60
This clearly was a very busy part of the market place of print, and one poorly represented by surviving copies. We might assume that when the text is advertised twice by publishers in the same year they were simply trying to move existing stock, but in the case of these religious bestsellers, this was not always the case. In January 1645 Marten Jansz Brandt advertised a new edition of the Tranen Christi, another work by Roelof Pietersz, which Brandt described as the third edition.61 This must have sold well, because in April he was back with a fourth edition. Owners of the previous edition were wooed with the promise that this edition was ‘improved and enlarged by half by the author’. Claims of this sort were frequently made by publishers, and the third edition had been accompanied by a similar claim. We cannot verify whether the publisher was exaggerating since neither of these editions survives: in fact, the only edition known from this year (again published by Brandt) is described on the title-page as a fifth edition.62
To assess the full extent of this market for cheap devotional literature we obviously have to reconstruct, in so far as this is possible, these lost editions. When they are identified as part of a series – the fourth, fifth and sixth editions – this becomes something we can do. This is one very interesting example of seriality outside the realm of obviously serial publications such as newspapers. Another is the almanac, an everyday resource that appeared (and was replaced) with great regularity each year. Not surprisingly the numbers published were very high, and the level of survival very low.
With almanacs we enter one of the most ubiquitous and competitive areas of the book trade.63 Almanacs were originally developed as a tool of the medical profession, where astrological data was required to make informed judgements on the most felicitous treatment. By the seventeenth century almanacs provided not only this, but a varied compendium of information: on market days across the country, principal anniversaries, postal routes, and in the Netherlands also the timetables of the regular barge services. Almanacs were published in a variety of formats, and in huge editions. It was not unusual for publishers to prepare 15,000 copies every year. This was, not surprisingly, a highly competitive trade; publishers vied for the services of the most distinguished astronomer-mathematicians to provide the technical calculations of solar and lunar cycles, and any attempt to establish a local monopoly, through an application for a privilege, was bitterly resented and contested.
This was clearly a hugely lucrative part of the Dutch book trade, a robust and entirely domestic market encompassing a wide range of purchasers. When we take into account how many copies were published, the rate of survival is spectacularly low; but why would owners keep a purely utilitarian product, which each year was replaced by a new edition? Those examples that do survive tend to be the more substantial comptoir almanacs, published in quarto and interleaved with blank sheets for notetaking; they probably survived because owners kept them for the notes or as diaries. But since we know almanacs were published in yearly cycles, and we know the publishers and their preferred formats, we can venture an estimate of the size of the market: probably something in the region of 2,000 editions, of which around 25% survive, almost always in one copy. Added to the religious bestsellers, this suggests a total of at least 3,000 lost non-news serials.
The life academic
Another task that promised easy profits for Dutch publishers was the printing of student dissertations (see fig. 5).64 In order to graduate from university, students had to demonstrate their competence in a public ceremony, during which they defended dissertation theses normally written for them by their professor. The theses were printed and distributed to those attending, generally at the students’ expense. The practice of disputation was ubiquitous in the early modern university, and eagerly adopted in illustrious schools, institutions of higher education that could not confer degrees. These practice disputations were extremely popular, and sometimes students at the Amsterdam illustrious school would defend theses on multiple occasions – perhaps encouraged by the generosity of a wealthy institution that seems to have met the cost of the printing.65 This was not always the case in the universities, and all over Europe students deeply resented the expense, coming on top of the costs of accommodation and buying necessary textbooks while living on a limited budget.
Printers, many of whom held a local monopoly for the printing of dissertations, paid little heed to these complaints. In Leiden, where the privilege of printing student dissertations was vested in the Elzeviers, their ability to overcharge for what were comparatively simple jobs was the foundation of their profitability.66
The printers were also inclined, once they had delivered the number required by the student candidate, to print off a few more which could then be stockpiled and sold off as collections. It is largely in this form that they have survived today. The STCN lists around ten thousand, but many of the world’s libraries have enormous collections of dissertations, and some are lost altogether. We know this because of a growing practice, again to encourage commercial purchase of collection, of sequential numbering. The historian of the Amsterdam Illustrious School, Dirk van Miert, lists 431 dissertation theses known to have been defended by its students. Of these 238 survive uniquely in libraries abroad, and 81 are lost altogether.67
The most systematic study of student dissertations for any of the Dutch universities is the splendid repertory compiled by Jacob van Sluis and Ferenc Postma for Franeker.68 They have traced Franeker dissertations to over one hundred institutions, spread throughout Europe, and beyond. Many survive in no Dutch library. We have been attempting to pursue the lines of enquiry with the help of the Apparatus S. van der Woude, a survey of Netherlandish dissertations preserved as a card index in the Special Collections department of Amsterdam University Library. Although by no means as comprehensive as the Van Sluis-Postma survey for Franeker, Van der Woude does include references to dissertation collections in many libraries outside the Netherlands. Based on our initial comparison of this data with the established corpus, over the course of our work we also expect to add a further five thousand extant dissertations to those listed in the STCN. It is very likely that many more Dutch dissertations lurk in the hundreds of thousands of dissertations that are to be found around the world’s libraries, many uncatalogued, and indeed beyond the scope of any future planned cataloguing project. This is a pity, because a comprehensive search would throw into broader relief the huge contribution made by this area of activity to sustaining the Dutch printing industry.
The sheer scale of effort printers invested in printing dissertations may never be known, but we can get some idea from what we know of the numbers of students enrolled in the universities. Between 1574 and 1650 more than 21,000 matriculations were recorded at the University of Leiden. This does not equate to a corresponding number of students, since students were required to re-matriculate every year (and some stayed for five years are more); but for our purposes this does not much matter, since we know that many students liked to take part in practice disputations at least once a year, some, indeed, more than this. The Pole Samuel Czaplinius took part in six practice dissertations, one in 1602, four in 1603, one in 1604. A young Hollander, Cornelis Burchvliet from Den Briel, defended no fewer than eight sets of theses between 1598 and 1601, including five sets in his last year. The undisputed champion of the practice disputation seems to have been local boy Johannes Arnoldsz Ravens (c.1580-1650), who defended theses on seventeen occasions between 1600 and 1603.
So the 21,000 student matriculations recorded before 1650 may well correspond to approximately the same number of dissertation exercises taking place at Leiden during this same period. Of these we know now about four thousand surviving examples – about one sixth of the number probably originally printed. With a similar number of students matriculating in the second half of the century, and the other four universities to take into account, an estimate of 60,000 such practice theses publications for the whole century may indeed be rather cautious. In addition to the practice dissertations, each university offered elaborate ceremonies on the taking of a degree: there were at least 8,000 such graduation ceremonies in the Dutch Republic’s five universities during the course of the century.69 The theses defended by the successful candidate would again have been published, and printers were also kept busy printing broadsheet announcements of the coming event to be posted up and distributed to friends, sometimes, in the case of the richer or more popular students, with a separate publication of commendatory poems contributed by their friends. Most of these collections of congratulatory poems were quarto pamphlets rather like the dissertations themselves, but occasionally friends splashed out on folios of six or twelve pages. These were lavish productions, published on rich creamy paper in a demonstrably large type, but very few survive, not least because they were difficult to store.
The everyday life of the university community thus generated further layers of print, both occasional pieces published to celebrate student achievements, and the everyday ephemeral print connected with the administration of the university. The University of Groningen possesses an extraordinary collection of academic ephemera, all broadsheet posters, obviously intended for public exhibition. They partly comprised announcements of forthcoming academic ceremonies: the inauguration of new professors, the instillation of the rector, and student promotions. The student ceremonies are accompanied by a small number of printed poetical encomia. The largest proportion of these broadsheets is made up of funeral programmes, for members of the university and prominent citizens, issued in each case on the authority of the university rector.70
For the seventeenth century the collection amounted to some 269 items; and since this accounted for only a small proportion of graduating students, and many of the academic ceremonies advertised took place annually, there may have been many more. Interestingly, the work was spread among a large number of printers. Although Groningen (in common with other universities) appointed a privileged university publisher, the regulations of the university permitted Groningen students to use any local printer, and they seem to have availed themselves of this privilege for other forms of academic ephemera as well. We have not yet located a cache of this sort of material for the Republic’s other four universities, or any of the illustrious schools, but it is hard to imagine that this tradition was unique to Groningen; and we certainly know of such academic broadsheet announcements for other European universities. All told it seems likely that the comings and goings of students, rectors and professors generated at least 15,000 separate broadsheet print jobs for Dutch printers over the course of the century.
This amounts to a mass of print. When we allow for approximately 70,000 dissertations and the published ephemera of official business we may plausibly hypothecate not far short of 85,000 different printing tasks undertaken by Dutch printers for the business of higher education. The STCN accounts for only 10,000 of these.
Tax and spend
By the middle of the seventeenth century the Dutch Republic was Europe’s richest society; it was also its most heavily taxed. Born of a long and destructive struggle with Europe’s then superpower, Spain, the Dutch state was soon beset with new enemies, jealous of its apparently effortless appropriation of so much of the world’s trade. New conflicts with England and France ensured that the Republic was almost continuously at war. All this had to be paid for; and it says a great deal for the extraordinary vitality of the Dutch economy that an ever-increasing tax burden was borne with so little complaint. The greater part of these new taxes was raised on consumption, the so-called gemene middelen (general means), taxing both the producer and the consumer on a range of staple goods: beer, wine, meat, salt, butter, grain and also raw materials, such as peat.71 As the century wore on, the range of goods taxed expanded, particularly in Holland, which paid over half the total tax raised in the Republic for the defence of the state. Already by the second decade of the seventeenth century Holland raised taxes on twenty-five staple commodities, the other provinces generally rather fewer.72
To ensure the efficient extraction of the necessary funds, the Dutch employed a highly effective system of tax farming. Annually, or with the most generally used commodities, every six months, the tax on, for instance, beer in a stated jurisdiction, would be sold to the highest bidder. The terms of the farm would then be set out in a printed document, distributed for free by provincial or municipal authorities. After the sale the forms continued to circulate; the printed document served both as a proof of the farmer’s right to collect taxes, and a protection to the citizen against fraudulent claims.
Although these printed tax forms were ubiquitous in to the Dutch Republic, they are yet to be subject to thorough investigation. The system was well established by the beginning of the seventeenth century, and continued virtually unchanged into the eighteenth. It generated both a huge tax income and a mass of printed paper. The examples that survive are a comparative rarity. The contract ceased to have validity after six months or a year, and few official bodies or private citizens thought to keep file copies. The STCN documents around a thousand editions for the seventeenth century, characteristically quarto publications of four pages without a title page. Calculating the number of jurisdictions in the seven provinces, and the number of commodities taxed, the total number of separate printings is likely to have exceeded 18,000.
A paper culture
With this, we conclude our survey of the likely scope of printing in the Dutch Republic. The conclusions are mathematically rather startling. A book culture famous for the majestic Blaeu atlases and the elegant Elzevier duodecimos turns out to have devoted much of its energies, and drawn much of its profits, from far more mundane tasks. It turns out that the STCN, for all the thoroughness of its investigations, captures only about a fifth of the print jobs undertaken by printers in the Dutch Golden Age. And although the total adduced by our investigations may seem rather high, individual estimates fall always on the side of caution. We have added nothing to our total for official jurisdictions for which no broadsheet ordinances survive, nor for common forms like receipts, share certificates, lottery tickets or broadsheet advertisements. Lotteries were a craze in the cash-rich Dutch Republic: we know of at least twenty-six in one single year (1695).73 All were announced with some fanfare, frequently through advertisements in the newspapers and invariably through published placards listing the prizes. Then there was the valuable job of printing the lottery tickets themselves.74 Publishers announcing book auctions also frequently printed, in addition to the catalogue, placards announcing the place and date of the sale. We know this from newspaper advertisements, though few copies have yet come to hand; the practice was also common for the sale of houses or commercial goods. In Haarlem, and most likely also elsewhere, private citizens could not post such notices themselves; they had to be handed to the official charged with posting official proclamations on the church doors and gates of the city (the stadsaanplakker).75 This official was clearly kept busy: every day, at 11 am and 4 pm, he was required to present himself at city hall to see if there were notices to be posted. Such regular attendance would hardly have been necessary for the fifty ordinances a year we have assumed for Haarlem – the real extent of this work can hardly be fathomed.
It also bears emphasis that only a very small proportion of this additional material would have been captured by a worldwide search under the established working criteria of the STCN: not more than twenty-five thousand editions. To achieve a more holistic sense of what was published in the Dutch Golden Age we have first to integrate categories of material deliberately excluded from the STCN, and then expand our research methodologies to recover works that were used, or read, to destruction. It is immediately apparent that works of this sort, published in repeat editions that have not survived, played an important role in the intellectual life of the Dutch Republic. The same can be said of much printed matter that was circulated for free, published explicitly to inform or involve the citizenry in the process of decision-making. This is something we must bear in mind when we turn our attention to what was read in the Dutch Republic, and by whom.76 Building now on the foundations of a much more complete view of what was published, we can explore the carefully stratified world of book purchase and consumption to determine what, of what we now know to have been published, was mostly likely to have shaped public and private consciousness.
- Lotte Hellinga, et al. (eds.), The Bookshop of the World. The Role of the Low Countries in the Book-Trade 1473-1941 (‘t Goy-Houten: Hes & de Graaf, 2001); and Christiane Berkvens-Stevelinck, et al. (eds.), Le Magasin de l’Univers. The Dutch Republic as the Centre of the European Book Trade (Leiden: Brill, 1992). The authors acknowledge with thanks the contribution of Falk Eisermann, Ann-Marie Hansen and Ian Maclean, who read earlier drafts of this paper and offered helpful comment.
- Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, ‘A Whole New World? Publishing in the Dutch Golden Age’, in Graeme Kemp and Alexander Wilkinson (eds.), Conflict and Controversy (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming in 2019).
- For a description of various initiatives to retrieve the lost titles of the early book world see Flavia Bruni and Andrew Pettegree (eds.), Lost Books. Reconstructing the Print World of Pre-Industrial Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
- Koninklijke Bibliotheek, ‘Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands (STCN)’, http://www.kb.nl/en/organisation/research-expertise/for-libraries/short-title-catalogue-netherlands-stcn, accessed 18 Jan. 2018. See also volume 16 of the Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis (edited by Berry Dongelmans, published in 2009), which is partially dedicated to the history, methodology and future of the STCN.
- Cf. Marieke van Delft, ‘Kwantitatief onderzoek op basis van de STCN: mogeljkheden en aandachtspunten’, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis 16 (2009), pp. 63-80, noting that the survival rate for early modern books is estimated to be around 90%.
- Assuming average print runs of c.500-1,000.
- Johannes Weber, ‘Strassburg, 1605: The Origins of the Newspaper in Europe’, German History 24, No. 3 (2006), pp. 387-412; and Andrew Pettegree, The Invention of News (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2014), pp. 182-207.
- These cities are, in chronological order, Arnhem, Delft, Utrecht, The Hague, Weesp, Haarlem, Rotterdam and Leiden.
- Arthur der Weduwen, Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., Leiden: Brill, 2017).
- Arthur der Weduwen, ‘Utrecht’s First Newspaper Re-discovered: Adriaen Leenaertsz and the Nieuwe Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt ende Nederlant (1623)’, Quaerendo 46, No. 1 (2016), pp. 1-19; and id. ‘A Brussels Competitor to Abraham Verhoeven? The Discovery of the Serial Nouvelles Neutrelles (1621)’, De Gulden Passer 95, No. 1 (2017), pp. 37-60.
- Pierre Rétat (ed.), Les Gazettes européennes de langue française. Répertoire (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2002). See also Henri Duranton, Claude Labrosse and Pierre Rétat, Les gazettes européennes de langue française (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles) (Saint-Étienne: Publications de l’université de Saint-Étienne, 1992).
- Der Weduwen, Dutch and Flemish Newspapers, pp. 175-176.
- Ibid., pp. 671-1050.
- Arthur der Weduwen, ‘“Everyone has hereby been warned.” The Structure and Typography of Broadsheet Ordinances and the Communication of Governance in the Early Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic’, in Andrew Pettegree (ed.), Broadsheets: Single-Sheet Publishing in the First Age of Print (Leiden: Brill, 2017).
- Good overviews are found in Robert Fruin, Geschiedenis der staatsinstellingen in Nederland tot den val der Republiek, Herman T. Colenbrander (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1901), and Sybrandus J. Fockema Andreae, De Nederlandse staat onder de Republiek (10th ed., Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1985).
- Léon Voet, The Plantin Press (1555-1589): A Bibliography of the Works Printed and Published by Christopher Plantin at Antwerp and Leiden (6 vols., Amsterdam: Van Hoeve, 1980-1983), I, pp. 108-150; Dirk Imhof, Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plantin Press (2 vols., Leiden: Brill, 2014), II, pp. 745-878; and Andrew Pettegree and Malcolm Walsby, Netherlandish Books (Leiden: Brill, 2011), pp. 50-108.
- For both 1591 and 1592 the USTC has documented 36 surviving ordinances published by the magistrates of Leiden.
- Erfgoed Leiden, Archief van de Tresorier, inv. 9761, f. 139.
- Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, Stadsbestuur van Haarlem, inv. 1629-1705.
- Regionaal Archief Alkmaar, Archief van de gemeente Alkmaar, inv. 371, f. 360r.
- Thijs Weststrate, ‘“Drucker ordinaris der Heeren Staten van Zeelandt.” Het bedrijf van Symon Moulert en erfgenamen (1597-1646) als Statendrukkers (1618-1646)’, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis 11 (2004), pp. 51-66.
- Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Archief van de Burgemeesters: stadsrekeningen, inv. 124, f. 26r.
- Maarten Schneider, De Voorgeschiedenis van de “Algemeene Langsdrukkerij” (Den Haag: Algemeene Landsdrukkerij, 1939), p. 60. See also Guido de Bruin, Geheimhouding en Verraad, De geheimhouding van staatszaken ten tijde van de Republiek (1600-1750) (Den Haag: SDU, 1991), pp. 138, 150, 166, and 172.
- Schneider, Voorgeschiedenis, p. 61.
- Timothy R. Jackson (ed.), Frozen in Time. The Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 2016). The pamphlet volumes of the Fagel collection under call numbers H.1-3 comprise c.5,500 distinct items.
- Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Archief van de Staten-Generaal, inv. 12083-12145.
- They are mentioned briefly in Theo Thomassen, Instrumenten van de macht. De Staten-Generaal en hun archieven, 1576-1796 (Den Haag: Huygens Instituut, 2015), pp. 724-725.
- Der Weduwen, Dutch and Flemish Newspapers, pp. 37-41, 85-87, 617-618, 1052-1053, 1081, and 1395-1396.
- John J. McCusker and Cora Gravesteijn, The Beginnings of Commercial and Financial Journalism (Amsterdam: NEHA, 1991).
- An example is illustrated in ibid., p. 53.
- Exchange rates for the principle currencies were also included at the end of the weekly price currents.
- See Lodewijk Petram, De Bakermat van de beurs (Amsterdam: Atlas, 2011). Published in English as The World’s First Stock Exchange (New York: Columbia Business School, 2014).
- Petram, The World’s First Stock Exchange, p. 21.
- Cited in Herman de la Fontaine Verwey, ‘Willem Jansz Blaeu and the Voyage of Le Maire and Schouten’, Quaerendo 3, No. 2 (1973), pp. 87-105, here p. 87.
- Kees Zandvliet, Mapping for Money. Maps, Plans and Topographical Paintings and their Role in Dutch Overseas Expansion during the 16th and 17th Centuries (Amsterdam: Batavian Lion International, 2002).
- Vibeke D. Roeper and G.J. Diederick Wildeman, Reizen op papier. Journalen en reisverslagen van Nederlandse ontdekkingsreizigers, kooplieden en avonturiers (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1996).
- See for some beautiful examples Michiel van Groesen, Amsterdam’s Atlantic: Print Culture and the Making of Dutch Brazil (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).
- Gerrit van Rijn and C. van Ommeren, Atlas van Stolk, katalogus der historie-, spot- en zinneprenten betrekkelijk de geschiedenis van Nederland (10 vols., Den Haag/Amsterdam: Martinus Nijhoff/Frederik Muller & Co., 1895-1933); Frederik Muller, Beredeneerde beschrijving van Nederlandse historieplaten, zinneprenten en historische kaarten (Amsterdam: Frederik Muller, 1863-1870), and augmented by searches through library catalogues in Europe and North America.
- John Roger Paas, The German Political Broadsheet 1600-1700 (13 vols., Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1985-2016).
- Willem P.C. Knuttel, Catalogus van de pamflettenverzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek (9 vols., Den Haag: Algemeene Landsdrukkerij, 1889-1920); Louis D. Petit, Bibliotheek van Nederlandsche pamfletten. Verzamelingen van de bibliotheek van Joannes Thysius en de bibliotheek der Rijks-Universiteit te Leiden (4 vols., Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1882-1934); Pieter A. Tiele, Bibliotheek van de pamfletten, traktaten en plakkaten en andere stukken der verzameling van Frederik Muller te Amsterdam (3 vols., Amsterdam: Frederik Muller, 1858-1861); Gregorius van Alphen, Catalogus der pamfletten van de Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen (Groningen: Wolters, 1944); Jan F. van Someren, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht. Pamfletten niet voorkomende in afzonderlijke gedrukte catalogi der verzamelingen in andere openbare Nederlandsche bibliotheken (2 vols., Utrecht: A. Oosthoek, 1915-1922); and Johannes K. van der Wulp, Catalogus van de tractaten, pamfletten enz. over de geschiedenis van Nederland, aanwezig in de bibliotheek van Isaac Meulman (3 vols, Amsterdam: Erven H. Munster en zoon, 1866-1868).
- Andrew Pettegree, Malcolm Walsby and Alexander Wilkinson, French Vernacular Books (2 vols., Leiden: Brill, 2007).
- Ian Maclean, Scholarship, Commerce, Religion. The Learned Book in the Age of Confessions, 1560-1630 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012).
- Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree, News, Business and the Birth of Modern Advertising. Advertisements and Public Announcements in Dutch and Flemish Newspapers, 1620-1675 (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming in 2019).
- Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree, ‘Publicity and its Uses. Lost Books as Revealed in Newspaper Advertisements in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic’, in Bruni and Pettegree (eds.), Lost Books, pp. 202-222.
- Arthur der Weduwen, ‘From Piety to Profit: the Development of Newspaper Advertising in the Dutch Golden Age’, in Siv Gøril Brandtzaeg, Paul Goring and Christine Watson (eds.), Travelling Chronicles: Episodes in the History of News and Newspapers from the Early Modern Period to the Eighteenth Century (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming in 2018).
- Bert van Selm, Een menighte treffelijcke boecken: Nederlandse boekhandelscatalogi in het begin van de zeventiende eeuw (Utrecht: HES, 1987); id., ‘Dutch Book Trade Catalogues Printed Before 1801 now in the British Library’, in Susan Roach (ed.), Across the Narrow Seas: Studies in the History and Bibliography of Britain and the Low Countries (London: The British Library, 1991); and Otto S. Lankhorst, ‘Dutch Book Auctions in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, in Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Madelbrote (eds.), Under the Hammer: Book Auctions Since the Seventeenth Century (New Castle, DE/London: Oak Knoll Press & The British Library, 2001).
- Book Sales Catalogues Online. Book Auctioning in the Dutch Republic, ca. 1500-ca. 1800, (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015) http://www.brill.com/products/online-resources/book-sales-catalogues-online, accessed 18 Jan. 2018. The authors acknowledge with gratitude the generosity of Brill in allowing them access to what is normally a subscription service for the purpose of this research.
- Depending on local custom, this ranged between 7 and 12%.
- Broer Jansz, The Catalogus Universalis: A Facsimile Edition of the Dutch Booktrade Catalogues Compiled and Published by Broer Jansz, Amsterdam 1640-1652, Henk W. de Kooker (ed.), Anna E.C. Simoni (trans.) (Utrecht: Hes & De Graaf, 1986).
- Courante uyt Italien ende Duytschlandt, &c. 1643. No. 39. 26.09.1643.
- This is a paraphrase of the original Dutch.
- 1631 (USTC 1013422), 1636 (1013433), and 1644 (1013421), all published by Brandt.
- This lost edition USTC 1515575. 1628 (1030778), 1632 (1020976), 1640 (1013633), and 1644 (1013875).
- USTC 1515577. 1632 (USTC 1013325), 1634 (1013324), 1638 (1016678), and 1641 (1021123).
- USTC 1515578. 1637 (USTC 1013433), 1639 (1013622), and 1645 (1030787). A second part was published in 1645 (USTC 1013880) and a third part in 1650 (USTC 1014870).
- USTC 1013943.
- Though the same title is used for an earlier work by Eduard Poppius (1576-1624). See USTC 1010725 and 1010728.
- USTC 1019080.
- Tydinge uyt verscheyden Quartieren, 1644. No. 9. 27.02.1644.
- USTC 1021196 (1639) and USTC 1019894 (1649).
- Der Weduwen and Pettegree, ‘Publicity and its Uses’, p. 212.
- USTC 1013848.
- Jeroen Salman, Populair drukwerk in de Gouden Eeuw: De almanak als lectuur en handelswaar (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1999).
- Kuniko Forrer, ‘Dutch Academic Theses as Printed Matter’, in William A. Kelly and Giulia Trentacosti (eds.), The Book in the Low Countries (Edinburgh: Merchiston Publishing, 2015); Djoeke van Netten, ‘“Tot gerief ende commoditeyt vande professoren en studenten.” Academiedrukkers in de zeventiende-eeuwse Republiek’, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis 15 (2008), pp. 51-70; Jacob van Sluis, ‘Bibliografie van Deventer disputaties 1630-1811’, in Hans W. Blom, et al. (eds.), Deventer denkers. De geschiedenis van het wijsgerig onderwijs te Deventer (Hilversum: Verloren, 1993); and Margreet Ahsmann, Collegia en colleges. Juridisch onderwijs aan de Leidse Universiteit 1575-1630 in het bijzonder het disputeren (Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff, 1990).
- Dirk van Miert, Humanism in an Age of Science. The Amsterdam Athenaeum in the Golden Age, 1632-1704 (Leiden: Brill, 2009), p. 156.
- David W. Davies, The World of the Elzevier (Leiden: Nijhoff, 1954); and Berry P.M. Dongelmans, Paul G. Hoftijzer and Otto S. Lankhorst (eds.), Boekverkopers van Europa. Het 17de-eeuwse Nederlandse uitgevershuis Elzevier (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 2000).
- Van Miert, Humanism in an Age of Science, pp. 372-392.
- Ferenc Postma and Jacob van Sluis, Auditorium Academiae Franekerensis: Bibliographie der Reden, Disputationen und Gelegenheitsdruckwerke der Universität Franeker und des Athenäums in Franeker 1585-1843 (Leeuwarden: Fryske Akademy, 1995).
- Willem Th.M. Frijhoff, La société néerlandaise et ses gradués, 1575-1814 (Amsterdam: APA, 1981), p. 389.
- J. Ensink, ‘Het programma funebre aan de Groninger academie in de 17e en 18e eeuw’, in Arend H. Huussen Jr. (ed.), Onderwijs en onderzoek: studie en wetenschap aan de academie van Groningen in de 17e en 18e eeuw (Hilversum: Verloren, 2003).
- For a good overview of taxation in the Dutch Republic see Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 91-112.
- Around twenty in the case of Zeeland and Utrecht, fifteen in Overijssel.
- Donald Haks, Vaderland & Vrede, 1672-1713. Publiciteit over de Nederlandse Republiek in oorlog (Hilversum: Verloren, 2013), pp. 227-262; and Anneke Huisman and Johan Koppenol, Daer compt de Lotery met trommels en trompetten. Loterijen in de Nederlanden tot 1726 (Hilversum: Verloren, 1991).
- Examples of a printed broadsheet advertisement and lottery ticket can be found in Haks, Vaderland & Vrede, pp. 235 and 248.
- Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, Stadsbestuur van Haarlem 1573-1813, inv. 1252.
- Themes to be explored in a forthcoming study, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, Trading Books in the Age of Rembrandt (London: Yale University Press, 2019), to be published in Dutch in the same year by Atlas Contact.