By Emily Monty
Dr Emily Monty was the Fagel Collection Visiting Research Fellow in autumn 2022 hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute. She will present her work at the symposium on Unlocking the Fagel Collection: The Library and its Context (June 21-23, 2023).
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Trinity College Dublin had the remarkable opportunity to purchase the entire library of Hendrik Fagel the Younger (1765-1838), Greffier, or Chief Minister, of the Dutch Republic. Drawing on funds provided by the Erasmus Smith Foundation, TCD acquired the Fagel Library in 1802. This purchase included over 20,000 volumes and increased the number of books in the Trinity College Library by about 40 per cent.
While these books came from the collection of Hendrik the Younger, many of the volumes have a longer provenance, or history of ownership, not only because they were passed down through generations of Fagel patriarchs, but also because they were purchased second-hand. In fact, the Dutch Republic was a centre of public book auctions in the early modern period, making it a place where one could readily find and acquire antiquarian and used books.Continue reading “Used Books? Tracing the History of Ownership in the Fagel Collection”