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Special collections

  • The Library’s Arabic Law collection

    October 13, 2017

    Since 2011 we have built an extensive collection of books in the Arabic language. The books come from diverse countries, from Mauritania and Morocco to Egypt and Sudan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to Yemen and Oman. The main topics we’ve selected are: public international law, international criminal law, Islamic law (almost 400 titles), national positive law and related subjects.

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  • Special Exhibition: “The Peace on Posters and the Posters on Peace”

    October 13, 2016

    On September 21, a special exhibition, “The Peace on Posters and the Posters on Peace”, will be opened by the Peace Palace Library and the municipality of The Hague as part of the Just Peace Festival. For this exhibition, a selection of the Library’s poster collection will be displayed in a gallery in the Tram Tunnel of the city centre of The Hague. The Peace Palace Library holds a unique collection of posters relating to Peace; parts of it have a direct relationship with the Peace Movement starting in the early 20th century. This movement consisted of internationalists and pacifists from all over the world, and statesmen and politicians also participated in the movement. The Peace Movement stood also at the basis of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, resulting in the opening of the Peace Palace in 1913, the temple for the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The Peace Palace Library has always been a principal inhabitant of the Peace Palace, the symbolic building of ‘Peace through Justice’.

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  • Library Special Collection : Johan Nieuhof’s images of China

    July 24, 2015

    In the mid-seventeenth century, the Dutch were at the height of their power and wanted to gain trade access in China. Despite the great opposition they succeeded in sending merchants there between 1655 and 1657. The steward, artist, and chronicler of the trade mission, Johan Nieuhof (1617-1672), wrote a travel journal and made many drawings of Chinese buildings, animals, plants, towns, rivers, landscapes, people and their costumes. The Dutch trade mission to the emperor of China was sponsored by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) and led by two of the company’s overseers, the merchants Pieter de Goyer and Jacob Keyzer. The envoy travelled first by sea from the Dutch colony at Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) where the Dutch East India Company was headquartered, to Canton and then by interior waterways to Beijing.

    The book Het Gezantschap der Neerlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, aan den grooten Tartarischen Cham was based on the travel diary and it was illustrated with engravings which were produced on the basis of the drawings. The book also contains a map charting the route taken from Java to Beijing. Nieuhof’s prints were standard visual sources for images that defined China for Europeans.

    The first edition was published in Amsterdam by the bookseller and art dealer Jacob van Meurs in 1665. It was translated into French (L’ambassade de la compagnie orientale des Provinces Unies vers l’empereur de la Chine, ou grand cam de Tartarie, 1665), German (Die Gesantschaft der Ost-Indischen Geselschaft in den Vereinigten Niederländern an den tartarischen Cham und nunmehr auch sinischen Keiser, 1666), Latin (Legatio Batavica ad magnum Tartarae Chamun, 1668), and English (An embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China, 1669). A touchstone for books on China, the book was excerpted and reprinted through the early eighteenth century.

    The French edition at the Peace Palace Library contains 145 engravings, and they are accessible and searchable on this page.

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  • Special Collections

    Special Collections

    March 31, 2015

    The Library houses a few special collections, of which the Grotius collection and the Peace Movement collection are the most important. We present highlights of these collections: old and rare books, brochures, pamphlets, conference reports, newspaper clippings, letters and photographs. The Image collection holds unique posters, engravings, photographs, cartoons, portraits and maps refering to themes and subjects such as war, peace, pacifism and the Peace Palace. Recently, the Library has been scanning Scheldt River publications and providing free access to these digital versions. The total amount of scanned pages is about 35.000! A Portrait collection is scheduled later this year.

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  • Scheldt River collection

    The Scheldt is a transboundary river which originates in North-Western France and runs through Western Belgium and the South-West of the Netherlands. The Scheldt Estuary is shared between Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dutch section of the estuary is called the Western Scheldt, and is of vital importance as navigation channel to the port of […]

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