The impact of the poet P.C. Boutens (1870–1943) on Dutch poetry is undeniable. Twelve years after Boutens’ death, Victor E. van Vriesland, himself a poet, devoted no less than 36 pages to 57 of Boutens’ verses in the third edition of his anthology Spiegel van de Nederlandse Poëzie door alle eeuwen: 1100-1900 (Mirror of Dutch poetry throughout all centuries: 1100-1900), – almost half again as much compared to the work of other illustrious poets. In 1924, Martinus Nijhoff, another poet, wrote: “Boutens is possibly the only great poet still alive whom one would have called a ‘master’ in the past”.
The Zeeland Library’s Boutens Collection is very complete and quite unique by Dutch standards. It includes some manuscripts and over 600 ‘Boutensiana’ (books, scores, broadsheets, other miscellaneous items). Hence it is of major interest to all those who study Boutens’ writings and Dutch literature of the time. This very special and sometimes unparalleled material has been digitized and made available to a broad audience by the Memory of the Netherlands.