Brugge Public Library Belgium


Bruges Public Library (BPL) is home to c. 800 manuscripts, c. 70 incunables, c. 23.000 rare books, c. 60 historical newspapers, various private collections, and the Archives and Library of the poet Guido Gezelle. Among BPL’s collections are remarkable treasures such as the oldest extant copy of the Rule of the Templars (Ms. 131) and the oldest map of Flanders (Ms. 685).

The historical core are the libraries of the Cistercian abbeys of Ten Duinen (°1138) and Ter Doest (°1175). These libraries were nationalized in the aftermath of the French Revolution and were transferred to the City of Bruges in 1804. Some manuscripts were hidden from confiscation and are now held at the Major Seminar in Bruges. The surviving monastic manuscript collection as a whole, i.e. the 582 manuscripts at the BPL and the Seminar, has been awarded the title of ‘Masterpiece’ by the Flemish Government.

As a public library, engagement of wide audiences is part of the BPL’s DNA. BPL offers lectures, educational workshops, exhibitions and publications tailored to the needs of various audiences. Digitization efforts at the BPL have reached a new height by the adoption of IIIF in 2018.

Brugge Public Library Belgium Interior
Brugge Public Library Belgium Interior Books
Brugge Public Library Belgium Interior
Brugge Public Library Belgium Activity

People involved in the action

Evelien Hauwaerts

Dr Evelien Hauwaerts

Dr Evelien Hauwaerts is Manuscripts Curator at Bruges Public Library. Her expertise are Western medieval manuscripts and special collections librarianship. She holds a PhD in Medieval Languages and Literature (CESCM Poitiers, 2012), a Masters in Romance Languages (KU Leuven, 2005), and two advanced Masters in Medieval and Renaissance History (KU Leuven, 2006, and CESCM, 2007). She is team lead and board member for Bruges in the Europeana project The Art of Reading in the Middle Ages. She is co-curator of the IIIF project Medieval Monastic Manuscripts - Open Network Knowledge (MMMONK) and advisory member to the Medieval Manuscripts in Flemish Collections (MMFC) project. She has been working on a revised online catalogue of the manuscripts collection at Bruges Public Library since 2008. In 2018, she co-curated the exhibition Haute Lecture by Colard Mansion. Innovating Text and Image in Medieval Bruges at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges.

Mark Vermeer

Dr Mark Vermeer

Dr Mark Vermeer is Project Officer for the Europeana project “Art of Reading in the Middle Ages”. He specializes in Late Medieval Literacy, Palaeography, and Diplomatics. He earned his PhD at Utrecht University in November 2020 for the thesis ‘Writing for the aldermen. The development of administrative pragmatic literacy in the Northern Brabantine countryside (the Bailiwick of ’s-Hertogenbosch, ca. 1300-1550)’. Before that, he earned his MA in Medieval Studies (2015) and BA in History (2013) at the same university. Among his other activities, he is a member of the editorial board of the Noordbrabants Historisch Jaarboek, and a member of the Flemish-Dutch group Schrift en Schriftdragers in de Nederlanden in de Middeleeuwen.

Katrien Deroo

Katrien Deroo

Katrien Deroo works as expert Digital Development and Innovation at Bruges Public Library. She earned a Master in Linguistics and Literature: Dutch – English (UGhent). Additionally, she holds two postgraduate degrees: Information and Library Sciences (University of Antwerp) and Computer Sciences (IVO Bruges). Katrien was connected to Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies (KANTL) as a researcher. She was responsible for data management at the Factulty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University. She has been working at the Bruges Public Library since 2018, coordinating digital projects.

Koen Calis

Koen Calis

Koen Calis is director-librarian of the Bruges Public Library. He has a licentiate degree in Germanic languages ​​(KU Leuven), supplemented with a postgraduate degree in Media and Information Science and IBW. Since 1995 he has been actively involved in forming networks and aiding digital innovation at local and above local levels for public and special collection libraries. He is involved as an expert in the Digital Library for Dutch Literature (DBNL).

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