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Print Room archives

Identifier: ubl269

Scope and Contents

The archives contain records of the finances of the Print Room, correspondence regarding purchases and loans. These include detailed records of the acquisitions made over the years. The records contain furthermore the annual reports, some paraphernalia like the seals used to stamp prints and drawings and documentation regarding the successive directors of the Print Room. The archives of the Department of Photography are stored separately and excluded from this collection guide.


  • Creation: 1825-2002

Language of Materials

Dutch, French

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

In 1814 the widow of Jean Théodore Royer (1737-1808) bequeathed her late husband’s collection of prints and drawings to Leiden University. The collections arrived in Leiden in the beginning of 1815, but were stored for several years. In 1825 the University board nominated the artist D.P.G. Humbert de Superville (1770-1849) as the first director of the Print Room in 18xx. The collections gradually expanded through donations and purchases and eventually reached the number of around 100,000 prints and some 12,000 drawings. The collections of the Print Room were employed in teaching courses to the students. Ever since the foundation of the Institute of Art History the Print Room has been closely tied to the curriculum. Until 2002, when it was decided that the Print Room should be integrated into the Special Collections of Leiden University Library.


6 metre

Abstract in Dutch

Archief van het Prentenkabinet van de Universiteit Leiden, gesticht in 1815 op basis van het legaat van Mr. J.Th. Royer. De stukken hebben betrekking op de periode 1825-2002. In 2002 werd het Prentenkabinet opgenomen in de Universiteitsbibliotheek. De afdeling Fotografie die in 1957 aan het Prentenkabinet werd toegevoegd, heeft haar eigen archief.

Abstract in English

Archives of Leiden University’s Print Room, founded in 1815, following the bequest of Mr. J.Th. Royer. The records pertain to the years 1825-2002. In 2002 the Print Room became a part of the University Library. The Photographic department, founded in 1957, holds its own archives and is excluded from this collection guide.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

A complete inventory is added to this collection guide.


No future additions are to be expected.


  • Biografisch portaal (Jean Théodore Royer)
  • DBNL (Humbert de Superville, David Pierre Giottino)
  • Heijbroek, J.F. et al., Het Leidse prentenkabinet: de geschiedenis van de verzamelingen. Baarn 1994. (Leids kunsthistorisch jaarboek, 9).


The archival records can be requested in the online catalogue and consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The archives are catalogued as APK-[number]. See the attached pdf for a complete survey.

Collection guide of the Print Room archives (1825-2002)
Archief van het Prentenkabinet
Jef Schaeps, 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 23 January 2020: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857