Expositie /

Museum De Waag

18.11.2018 - 03.03.2019

Deventer, City of Books. Twelve centuries of book culture

Manuscripts, books and printed works from Deventer have found their way to countless readers over the last twelve centuries. Indeed, the city still boasts a rich book tradition – not only thanks to the Deventer Book Fair, Europe’s biggest annual book market, but also due to the presence of major publishing houses and printers, as well as a great number of antiquarian bookshops. This contemporary book culture is rooted in a fascinating history. The many wonderful stories from Deventer’s book history are now brought together in the double exhibition Deventer, City of Books. Twelve centuries of book culture in Museum De Waag and also in Deventer Library.


Most important city of books in the Low Countries
Ever since the rise of Christendom, written documents have been produced in Deventer. Countless manuscripts were written thanks to the influence of Geert Grote and the Devotio Moderna, while the invention of the printing press around 1450 was quickly felt in this Hanseatic League city as well. The first printed work from Deventer dates to as early as 1477. In the 15th Century the local book culture blossomed and Deventer became the most important book city in the Low Countries.

Museum De Waag presents the highlights of Deventer’s book history. From the earliest manuscripts and antique printed works, by way of the atlases and almanacs, and through to the heyday of the graphic industry in the 20th Century. The prime exhibits from the history of the Athenaeum Library are on display in the ‘Treasury of Deventer, City of Books’ exhibition in the Library. A digital book trail through the new library building reveals the current influence of these works. Discover the rich history of Deventer, City of Books!


Duration: November 18, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Free tour: every Thursday 02.00 pm and 03.00 pm, every Sunday 02.00 pm
Extra: Dutch audiotour and English handout available

Opening hours
Tuesday until Sunday from 11.00 am – 5.00 pm
Museum De Waag, Brink 56, Deventer

Ticket prices
Adults: € 9,00
Youth 13 until 18 years: € 2,50
Children under 12 years: free

Free: Museumkaart, ICOM- kaart, Rembrandtkaart and members of Vereniging De Waag