As book binder/restorer ánd passionate miniaturist I was thrilled to read the Bibliotheca Thurkowiana Minor is kept safe and intact. Because last week, on April the 13th it has passed on to become part of the collection of the Museum Meermanno in Den Hage, The Netherlands.
There it will be open for the public to visit (limited so see their website for opening hours etc.) as was the wish of the collectors them selfs; Guus and Luce Thurkow. Guus unfortunately died but his labour of love has been given the respect it deserves and is saved for future generations, instead of being sold off and scattered around the globe.
pictures courtesy of Ed Schilders
Links:Museum Meermanno, Den Hage, The Netherlands.
TIP: if you can spare the time (12 minutes) watch They Are Giants, a documentary or short movie about Guus and his library, made by Koert Davidse in 2010. With English subtitles.
Boekendingen; An article on this unique miniature library.
NBV, De Nederlandse Boekhistorische Vereniging , Another article.
The links are in Dutch so below is the translation of the press release as seen on the website of Museum Meermanno.
Friday April 13, the transfer took place of an important new addition to Meermanno Museum | House of the book: the Bibliotheca Thurkowiana Minor, a very attractive miniature library founded by Guus and Luce Thurkow. The library contains 1515 books and miniatures, and is a supplement to the book collection of special forms of the museum and of course a phenomenon in itself.It was the wish of Guus Thurkow (1942-2011) and the museum that the miniature library would be shown to the public and would be preserved for future generations. With the generous support of Fonds 1818 and the Friends of the museum is now realized.
From 1984 to 2003 Luce and Guus Thurkow run, under the name 'The Catharijne Press' an antiquarian bookselling and publishing company of miniature books. On 1 January 2001 they decided to build a library of miniature books on the example of famous 17th-and 18th-century Dutch dolls. Based on the maximum size of a miniature book of 3 inches or 76 mm size was chosen as a scale of 1 to 4.With the cooperation of various specialists, this Bibliotheca Thurkowiana Minor already completed within a year.
The library consists of twenty bookcases with six shelves and is further equipped with an earth and a celestial globe, a desk and chair for the librarian, a book staircase and a statue of Don Quixote, the patron of the library.The collection is divided into sections such as classical and Naturalis Historia Musica, and a few more modern category Photographia. The department Erotica is obviously hidden behind a secret entrance.Both the content and appearance of the book is very diverse: from Preacher to the small insects book by Godfried Bomans and pocket book to leporello, a modern folded book. The oldest object in the collection is a clay tablet from 1803 BC. Of these, 59 unique books: works printed in an edition of only one copy and some manuscripts. Many of these are specially made for this library, including a xylothek (collection of wood samples) and a miniature wax, including stylus.
All these works are brought together under the motto of the library, a phrase from Cervantes 'Don Quixote' Ellos son gigantes "(" They are giants).
This miniature library is temporarily restricted. Every Wednesday at 13.00 a museum employee opens the closet and shows several examples of miniature books.For more information and photos:Aafke Boerma, email@example.com, 0031623637101Museum Meermanno | House of the bookPrinsessegracht 30, 2514 AP The Haguewww.meermanno.nlOpen: Tues / Sun from 12.00-17.00 hrs