Bibliotheca Thysiana in 2006
The Bibliotheca Thysiana was erected in 1655 to house the book collection of the lawyer Johannes Thysius (1621–1653). Upon his early death, he left a legacy of 20,000 guilders for the building of a public library ("tot publycque dienst der studie") with a custodian's dwelling. Designed by the architect Arent van ‘s-Gravensande, the building follows the Dutch Classical style and is regarded as one of the jewels of Dutch 17th-century architecture. Bibliotheca Thysiana is one of the Top 100 Dutch heritage sites. It is distinguished by its balanced proportions and the purity of its Ionic order on top of a high basement.
The Bibliotheca Thysiana is the only surviving 17th century example in the Netherlands of a building that was designed as a public library. It is quite extraordinary that a complete private 17th century library has been preserved and thus offers a good impression of the book collection of a young, learned bibliophile from the period of late Humanism. The collection contains about 2,500 books and thousands of pamphlets in all scientific fields.
- (English) Adriaan Smout: The Thysius Lute Book / Het Luitboek van Thysius. Facs. ed. (ms. 1666). Leiden & Utrecht, 2009. ISBN 9789065520555
- (Dutch) Paul Hoftijzer: Bibliotheca Thysiana. 'Tot publijcke dienst der studie' . Leiden, 2008
- (French) Esther Mourits: Fortune - Du Bartas dans la Bibliotheca Thysiana à Leyde. In: Oeuvres & critiques; vol. 29 (2004), no. 2, pag. 78-86
- (Dutch) D'avoir une chambre garnie de plus belles editions. Uit de correspondenties van Johannes Thysius. [Ed.: Esther Mourits & G.H.M. Posthumus Meyjes]. Leiden, Bibliotheca Thysiana, 2001.
- Website Bibliotheca Thysiana
- Article about Bibliotheca Thysiana (in Dutch)
- Collection of the Bibliotheca Thysiana (catalogue University Library Leiden)
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