The Library of Trinity College and the KB National Library of the Netherlands are collaborating on a video project about the Fagel family and their collections. In a series of videos we visit the places, people, histories and collections that mattered to them most. After all, we should get to know the Fagels a little bit better before we can begin to understand the full significance of their private library.
The Fagels – Successive members of the Fagel family held high offices in the Dutch Republic throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The private library of the family has been in Dublin since 1802, but which traces of the Fagels can still be found in The Hague? Follow the history of the family and their collections in a series of videos.
1. The Fagel Famliy Home
The former family home of the Fagels that was designed by Daniël Marot is located at the Noordeinde in The Hague. Today, an Irish pub is housed in the building, but at the back you can still find the atmosphere of the eighteenth century.
2. The Dome of Fagel
The Dome of Fagel is located the back of the former mansion of the Fagels. The outside of the building has a sober appearance, but once inside we come face to face with one of the most beautiful baroque ceilings in the Netherlands.
3. Pamphlet battles
A renowned part of the Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin are the 276 volumes with pamphlets, dealing with social and political issues of the day. Important information for a greffier who wanted to know what was going on in society. At times, the Fagels themselves were subject of debate. Pamphlets were published that reminded them to watch their steps. Jeroen Vandommele is curator of modern manuscripts in the KB National Library and he shows us a remarkable manuscript pamphlet from the collection of the KB that is directed against Gaspar Fagel.
4. At the Centre of Power
The Binnenhof (English: ‘Inner Court’) is a complex of buildings in the city centre of The Hague, where the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands are situated. The Fagels were active here from 1670 until 1795, when five successive generations of the family held the position of greffier of the States General. In this video, we visit the Old Library of the House of Representatives in search of connections with the Fagel Collection at Trinity College. The books on the shelves show us how practices in government administration were continued by the successors of the Fagels after 1795.
5. The Fagel Archives
The Fagel archives – The Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College may be a treasure trove, but the key to unlock it is found in the National Archives in The Hague. They not only keep the vast archives of the States General and the hundreds of volumes with state resolutions, but also the family archive of the Fagels. These archives comprise hundreds of boxes packed with personal documents, travel reports and correspondence. Arjan Poelwijk, archival specialist at the National Archives, explains how the various archival collections are related to one another. Project manager Alex Alsemgeest follows up with a tale from the Fagels’ family history.
6. Private Libraries in The Hague
The Hague was one of the important Dutch book towns in the eighteenth century. Important families were connected, and it was along these lines that a beautifully bound genealogy of the Fagels ended up in Museum Meermanno, House of the Book. Former curator of the museum Erik Geleijns explains more about book auctions, the world of the book in The Hague and the place of the Fagels within this history.
7. Libraries in Times of Revolution
The KB National Library of the Netherlands was founded in the summer of 1798 on the instigation of revolutionary politicians of the Batavian Republic. It can be argued that the KB originates from the same revolution that banished the Fagels from their office. There is a striking similarity between the two libraries: whereas the Fagels had built up a library to support the work at the registry, the KB was initially only open to representatives of the people. Curator of Early Printed Books Esther van Gelder shows a number of books that demonstrate how the fate of both libraries was rooted in the Batavian Revolution.
8. A short century of Fagel research
The KB, National Library of the Netherlands and the Library of Trinity College have been working together on a project to unravel the secrets of the Fagel collection since 2020. Ditch interest in the collection goes back a long way. General director of the KB Leendert Brummel visited Dublin in the 1930s. Former curator of Early Printed Books Marieke van Delft gives a brief overview of the Fagel history from Brummel up to the current project.
© These videos were made by Jaar & Dag Media as part of the project ‘Unlocking the Fagel Collection’ of the KB, National Library of the Netherlands and the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. This collaboration has been made possible by the Dutch Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).