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Research

Alba amicorum from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek

What makes this collection so special is the age of the books (from the 16th and 17th century), their beautiful construction and excellent condition. They also contain a wealth of depictions of coats of arms and other detailed illustrations, some of which were made by local Frisian artists.

Another very special feature of the collection is that it demonstrates the keeping of such an album as a general family activity in The Netherlands from the 16th and 17th century. The albums of Homme, Juw and Pieter van Harinxma are good examples. They offer unique insight into the past by means of the entries made within in these albums.

Furthermore, an album amicorum is a booklet whereby the owner collected contributions of friends, acquaintances or famous contemporaries he/she knew. This kind of album was mainly popular in academic circles and originated during a period in which many students did not confine themselves to one particular university, but made a so-called academic 'grand tour' which led them to universities throughout major Europe centres. The album was a loyal companion during these trips and was filled with the contributions of professors who taught them and by fellow students and friends.

Provided by: National Library of the Netherlands

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