Registration of the Thijs Collection (2014-2018)
In 2014 the University of Antwerp purchased a remarkable collection of approximately 1,100 devotional prints and related texts from former Prof. A.K.L. Thijs, an expert in the field of images and printing in Antwerp in the 17th-19th centuries. This collection was described and digitized by January 1, 2018 and is available in a specially designed digital catalogue. On 2 March 2018 the project was presented at the seminar Van verzamelaars naar vorsers: collectiebeheer en onderzoek van erfgoedobjecten. Seminarie ter gelegenheid van de ontsluiting van de Collectie Thijs. Speakers were Trudi Noordermeer (University of Antwerp), Tom Deneire (University of Antwerp), Karen Bowen (University of Antwerp), Jeroen Salman (Utrecht University), Jan Corthouts (Anet), Els Veraverbeke (Huis van Alijn Museum), Veerle Fraeters (Ruusbroec Society). Apart from the seminar, those who attended could also visit a temporary exhibition. Read more.
Registration of the archives of the Royal Geographical Society of Antwerp (2012-2015)
In 2012 the University Library started a project for the scholarly registration of the archives of the Royal Geographical Society of Antwerp. Project member Lieselot Cornelis from the Special Collections did the inventory and the registration of about 9000 archival objects in a database. Later, the Anet library automatisation team converted this database to the archival module of our library system Brocade.In this module,you can search the different types of objects (letters, administration, documents and documentation), and equally consult the archival scheme of the KAGA (ISAD). Moreover, we have also started with the digitization of the most important objects.
To better illustrate the famous people and the fascinating stories found in this archive, the Special Collections department created an online exhibition of this material under the title Geographical Initiatives in Antwerp. The initiative was tied up with the International Conference on the History of Cartography, which took place in Antwerp in July 2015 (ICHC 2015), and the exhibition series Antwerpen in de ban van de cartografie. Indeed, the KAGA itself is a result of this conference for cartography, which is illustrated in the exhibition in collaboration with the FelixArchief, which possesses the archives of the first Congrès International des Sciences géographiques, cosmographiques et commerciales (1871).
Registration of the prints collection (2012-2014)
The collection of the University of Antwerp Library contains about 1350 prints in various techniques, in addition to other objects, related to Antwerp from between the 15th and 21st centuries. From 2012 to December 2014 the library hosted a major description and digitization project, which means everyone now has online access to these valuable prints. More information...
Rare book conservation project (2013-2014)
From March to October 2013 the University Library of Antwerp hosted a basic conservation project for the old prints. The aim of this project was a general inspection and basic conservation of the rare book collection of the Special Collections and the Library of the Ruusbroec Society. The books were taken from the shelves one by one, cleaned (dry cleaning), the damage was registered, the leather bindings were treated with leather dressing and finally simple first aid procedures were executed. The project was made possible through the financial support of a private sponsor, the M.E. Belpaire Society.
During this time no fewer than 1500 old prints were treated, by a team of people from the library staff, volunteers with some experience in book restoration and students of the paper restoration course at the Artesis University College Antwerp. Marijn De Valk, independent book restorer from Middelburg (The Netherlands) was responsible for the coordination of the project. At regular intervals a newsletter was published with updates on the project.
Now that the project has finished, the Special Collections maintain their efforts towards basic conservation of old prints. The department's staff and some volunteers continue with the registration of damage, cleaning the books and making book wraps. Other, more constructive or invasive procedures are not executed, unless under the supervision of a professional restorer. For more information, contact Tom Deneire or Elisabeth Zeuwts (basic conservation expert) and see our lecture and slides for SHARP 2014.