The core of the Amsterdam University Library’s Multatuli collection comes from the Multatuli Society and has been on loan to the library since 1957, having been supplemented by donations and acquisitions through the years. Today, the Multatuli collection is part of the Amsterdam University Library’s Special Collections. In addition, the Multatuli Museum exhibits a collection of objects and documents administered by the Multatuli Society itself.
In addition to being a rich resource on the life and works of Multatuli, the collection contains much information that is relevant to the biographies of the many people with whom he was in contact. More generally speaking, the collection offers insight into the age and culture in which Multatuli and his contemporaries lived.
The site of the Memory of the Netherlands offers a selection of documents, mainly dating back to the period in which Multatuli wrote Max Havelaar. Also on view are original historical documents from the years 1840-1856, which indicate that Multatuli’s book is in fact highly autobiographic. In addition, manuscripts of other important writings illustrate Multatuli’s interesting working methods.
The photographs on the site show people who played an important part in Multatuli’s life (relatives, friends) to various degrees, or who were in some way connected with his work (actors, publishers). Pictures of a number of places where Multatuli lived and/or worked are also on view.