The collection of the Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek Deventer, on display here in The Memory, includes some 350 old children’s books from Overijssel, dating from the 17th century to halfway through the 20th century. The collection also holds 175 historic folk and children’s prints from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the children’s books included in the collection were published between 1850 and 1950. The prints in the collection are also known as cent prints, because they were sold in the streets for a cent or half a cent in previous centuries. The text often had a moralizing undertone. In fact, these prints are the forerunners of the later comics.
All of the books and prints in the collection centre around the province of Overijssel. Sometimes, the story is set somewhere in Overijssel. In many cases, the author or illustrator was born in Overijssel. Books and prints have also been added to the collection because they were printed in Overijssel. Apart from Deventer and Zwolle, the city of Almelo is particularly well represented as a printing centre with over fifty publications.
One quarter of the children’s books in the collection come from the private collection of Georg Hartong (born in 1945). The SAB acquired this private collection in 1990. One third of the children’s books consists of truly unique copies. The collection of folk and children’s prints also includes many single copies. Half of the prints on view here can be found in the Deventer Historisch Museum.
The books and prints included in the collection are of great importance for historic research in the fields of social history, folk culture and education. Visitors will enjoy browsing at leisure through these old children’s books, many of them adorned with brightly coloured illustrations.