Old imprints

Books and publications from before the automation of the printing process with the classic printing press. Impressive craftsmanship from cover to cover.

Old imprints

Valuable information

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, books were largely made by hand. They are valuable pieces because each work is obviously unique.   

They are also interesting on account of their content: they are direct witnesses to the intellectual life of the time. They tell us how strongly Flemish art was appreciated by contemporaries of the day. The old prints on mythology, philosophy and theology are key elements in the study of the artworks of Rubens and other Flemish masters.   

Growing collection 

The collection of old prints of Ludwig Burchard - the pioneer of Rubens research in the 20th century - formed the basis of the collection, which continues to grow. The oldest object? An early version of the Legenda Aurea by Jacobus de Voragine, from 1512. In the 1980s, a pamphlet about the fire in the Carolus Borromeus Church in 1718 was acquired for the collection. More recently, an 18th-century print on antique footwear joined the collection.   

Atypical consultation 

As you can imagine, these old prints are not pieces to be handled without kid gloves. Literally. The library staff will be happy to help you find what you're looking for. With adapted book cushions, lead strings and acid-free bookmarks. If no copies or scans of our old prints exist, you can make a copy yourself with your camera or smartphone, without flash.