Interactive Media Design students present "Quattuor Amicis"

The multi-media exhibition Quattuor Amicis (“Four friends”) is the outcome of a semester-long collaboration for the Open Digital Libraries project between second year Interactive/Media/Design students from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, national library of the Netherlands (KB).

The students researched the library’s comprehensive catalogue of alba amicorum (friendship books) to explore new ways into making these resources accessible to a wider audience.

'alba amicorum' collection KB

The KB has a large (circa 670) collection of ‘alba amicorum’ or ‘friendship books’. In the 16th and 17th century it was custom for students to travel through Europe on academic trips to cement an international network. They would bring their alba amicorum with them and invite people of importance to add to their collection. At home these friendship books were often displayed for guests, to show the importance of the host’s network and social standing. In a sense, the alba amicorum were the ‘Social Media’ of their times.

preview IMD x KB
process preview project 'Traces'

Exhibition 'Quattuor Amicis'

For this exhibition the students have investigated various aspects of the historic alba amicorum and their interconnectivity to our present society. By balancing the digital and the physical forms of expression, the works „Novi Nexus“, „Traces“, „Vester Album Experientia“ and „Nothing without Virtue“ delve into diverse stories of the alba collection through a critical lens.

These four projects hope to create an incentive on how library collections, in this case the collection of alba amicorum, can function as a source of inspiration for new cultural creativity.



Mon 23 May 2022 16.00 - Sat 4 June 2022 17.00


KB Atelier, Prins Willem-Alexanderweg 5, Den Haag, Zuid-Holland