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More heritage Exhibitions

‘Passion for collecting’ exhibition: a century of Dutch picture books from our private collection (1920-2020)

Exhibition University of Groningen Library City Centre, Thursday 8 October 2020 through Sunday 28 November 2021  

The exhibition Passion for collecting, a century of Dutch picture books from our private collection (1920-2020) spotlights a colourful selection of albums for picture cards published in the Netherlands over the last hundred years that have been added to collection of the University Library of Groningen. Around 500 companies from a wide variety of sectors published over 2,000 albums, including: Verkade, Douwe Egberts, King, Droste, Plus, Albert Heijn, Hooijmer, Hille and Keg, but also broadcasting corporations such as AVRO. Those who purchased a company’s product received a card with a picture as a gift. A complete set could then fill an album. The pictures were illustrations to the story in the book, so in a way buyers completed their own books.

Naturally, albums served a commercial purpose because the company wanted to stimulate the sale of their own products and attract customers of all ages. By adding an educational component to the albums, they would try to hide this end goal. Buyers would learn something about the subject covered in the picture book. This way, companies contributed to the general knowledge development of their customers. The albums were an early example of educational focused public relations.

Even 100 years later, the card collectors culture is still alive and kicking. Albert Heijn, for example, recently had a campaign giving out cards featuring sports heroes in action from the premier league and the Dutch national football team.

Please note: due to the Corona measures, the exhibition can only be visited by UG students and staff who have registered to gain access to the UB. Other interested parties can view the virtual photo album online.

Last modified:24 December 2021 11.55 a.m.
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