A guide will accompany you from Antwerp’s most beautiful square straight to the seventeenth-century wing of the building and the majestic Nottebohm room. This room is one of the most beautiful library rooms in Belgium, with its interior dating from 1936. Besides being an exhibition space and book repository, the Nottebohm room also showcases several eye-catching exhibits, such as the Blaeu Globes and the Egyptian Cabinet.
You walk through the spectacular repositories to the impressive microfilm room and the reading room. Suddenly doors will open that would otherwise remain closed and you will be able to see with your own eyes how 1.5 million books are cherished, preserved and made available to the public. The Heritage Library is a literary treasure trove full of centuries-old Flemish cultural heritage with an impressive collection of more than 1.5 million volumes. The perfect getaway for lovers of Flemish history and Dutch literature.
It is not only the collection that is considered to have a heritage, but also the library itself: its story began in 1481 when the town solicitor Willem Pauwels donated 41 books to the city of Antwerp. Unfortunately, those books were lost in 1576 due to the fire in the city hall during the Spanish Fury. This proves that the history of the Heritage Library is inextricably linked to the city history of Antwerp.
You will learn about the ideal storage conditions for books, magazines and newspapers in the storerooms and the problems that a repository library may encounter, from access to the oldest works to the preservation of born-digital materials.
- This guided tour is suitable for groups of adults
- Maximum 15 persons per group
- Duration: 90 minutes