The Fagel collection at the Library of Trinity College Dublin is one of the most important and largest still extant Dutch private libraries from the eighteenth century. The library was assembled as a working library by several generations of the Fagel family, of whom successive members held high offices in the Dutch Republic throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The collection of books, pamphlets and maps was purchased as a whole for Trinity College Dublin in 1802.
The special nature of this collection, in terms of both its scope and condition, makes it an invaluable resource of primary material for research across a number of disciplines. To improve access to the collection for research and a general audience, a collaboration between the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the KB National Library of the Netherlands has been set up. This collaboration, which is made possible by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken) is working to catalogue all books and pamphlets of the Fagel Collection.
The Fagel collection is estimated to consist of around 20,000 items (as recorded in the auction catalogue), but due to a large number of composite bindings the total number of individual titles is far higher than this. The material ranges in date from 1478 to 1799 with the greater volume of material published in the 18th century and relates to all parts of the world, but with a particular emphasis on Europe and areas outside Europe where the Dutch had trading or colonial interests.
The Fagel Map Collection is one of the finest in the world, and unsurpassed in terms of quality and standard of preservation. It is the only extant contemporary collection of this size that was assembled as the material was published as opposed to retrospectively. There is little duplication in the collection; most items appear to have been acquired if they represented advancement in the knowledge of an area or concerning a recent event or discovery. Many items in the library are private printings, in that they were not made available to the public at large, and are very rare.