KABK collaborates with KB in the EU project Open Digital Libraries

22 September 2021

Thursday 9 September 2021 marked the start of a collaborative project between the Royal Library (KB) and three educational departments of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). This collaboration is part of the EU project Open Digital Libraries (ODL), which focuses on promoting access and creative usage of digital library collections.

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KABK X KB nationale bibliotheek: alba amicorum

IAFD at KB-atelier

The first group of students from the Interior Architecture and Furniture Design (IA&FD) bachelor's programme has already started. Under the guidance of teachers Lada Hršak (architect) and Pawel Pokutycki (interactive designer), the fourth-year IA&FD students will work with AR / VR and Mixed Reality, among others, to concretize their assignment.

As from February 2022, students from the Interactive/Media/Design bachelor's programme and the Non Linear Narrative master's programme will also join this unique project.

Research and concepts

Students will be working with KB throughout this academic year on the research question "How do you present the digital book in a physical space?". To this end, the KB has selected the alba amicorum collection as its research object. The digitised seventeenth-century album of Jacob Heyblocq, rector of the Latin School of Amsterdam, is central to the research.

Alba Amicorum

Alba Amicorum

An album amicorum is a friendship book in which the owner collects contributions from friends, acquaintances, or famous contemporaries with whom he or she was in contact. The genre originated in Germany around the middle of the sixteenth century. From 1560 it also became popular in the Netherlands. Students, scholars, artists, and merchants kept an alba amicorum to keep track of their social network. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, alba amicorum were also kept. From 1800 onwards, owning an amicorum album was common practice for a large part of the Dutch middle class. The KB owns about 700 alba amicorum, the largest collection of alba in the Netherlands.

Among the Dutch alba amicorum, that of Jacob Heyblocq (1623-1690) occupies a unique place. Heyblocq was a poet and the rector of the Latin School in Amsterdam. In his album, he collected contributions from almost all the important figures of the Golden Age, such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Joost van den Vondel, Jacob Cats, Constantijn Huygens and many others. Read more about Jacob Heyblocq's Album amicorum.

The KB Atelier

The students' work and research take place in the KB building, in the KB Atelier. In the KB Atelier, students have sufficient space for their research and experiments. The research results will be presented in a physical exhibition in the KB Atelier at the end of the project.