House of the book and Airport Library present 'Songs of war and peace - proud to be a beggar'
June 21st 2020

In 2020, the Netherlands celebrates 75 years of freedom after the German occupation. As part of the commemoration of the liberation, the House of the book in The Hague and Airport Library present the exhibition 'Songs of War and Peace - Proud to be a Beggar'.

Traditionally, the Dutch love to sing. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries no other country produced as many songbooks as the Netherlands. Even after that, the songbook remained popular. In this small exhibition we tell the story of approximately five centuries of songbooks and songs and we show Dutch songbooks from the Second World War and the liberation period. Songbooks offer their own perspective on those turbulent years. 

Airport Library in Amsterdam approached House of the book to jointly develop an exhibition in the context of 75 years of freedom. The exhibition's curators are Jan Bos ( and Martine de Bruin on behalf of the Meertens Institute.

Read the press release (Dutch)


2019: Rembrandt Year
May 6th 2019

In 2019 it will be 350 years since Rembrandt van Rijn, one of the greatest painters of the Netherlands, died. This year his life and the Golden Age in which he lived is celebrated with fantastic exhibitions and eventsThere is also a small exhibition in the Airport Library with books about Rembrandt.

Rembrandt is an inspiration for writers, past and present. And since he is known all over the world, books about him that have been published in Dutch have been translated into many languages. Literary and historical books, children’s books and even graphic novels. The translations shown come from the library collection of the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Most of these have been published with support from this foundation. In addition, the Airport Library collection contains many new books about Rembrandt.


Photo exhibition De Mix in the Airport Library at Schiphol
Two photographers one from the past, one from the present
January 31st 2019

The Mix is ​​a series of photo assignments in which contemporary Dutch photographers are inspired by existing photographic work from a private or museum collection. This results in surprising combinations of photographers and works. From January 31st to March 31st, four series of The Mix are exhibited in the Airport Library at Schiphol: The Cow with work by Hans van der Meer (1955) and Cas Oorthuys (1908-1975), Mission with Andrea Stultiens (1974) and Paul Julien (1901-2001), Schiphol Slumberland with Jannes Linders (1955) and Frits J. Rotgans (1912-1978) and The Forest Ranger with photography duo Blummers & Schumm (1969) and Adolphe Burdet (1860-1940).

Four subjects, eight photographers
In The Cow the topic is the changing world of the Dutch cow. Cas Oorthuys photographed in 1948 dairy farmers who still milk on a stool in the country. Hans van der Meer registers the farm that must take into account contemporary social discussions.
In Mission, Andrea Stultiens travels with the photos of Paul Julien, which he made in 1932 in Liberia and in 1933 and 1947 in Sudan, to these countries. Through local collaboration with storytellers, journalists and photographers value is added to the images of Julien, in which both the Western and the African context play a role.
At Schiphol Slumberland, Frits J. Rotgans and Jannes Linders give two radically different worlds and visions in one and the same recognizable location: Schiphol Airport.
In The Forest Ranger Blommers & Schumm portrayed nineteen forest rangers in the nature areas of Schoorl and Egmond in surprising, relaxed poses. Blommers & Schumm have made a selection of colored photographs from the beginning of the 20th century by Adolphe Burdet with litters of eggs that, in the context of the Forest Ranger, acquire an alienating contemporary character.

Poem and traveling publication
Poet Ester Naomi Perquin (1980) made a poem especially inspired by the themes of the series and the ideas of this exhibition. Perquin received several Dutch poetry prizes. She writes for several Dutch newspapers and magazines. The poem by Perquin and all the photos of the series are bundled in a publication. Copies of the publication will be given to visitors during the exhibition at the Airport Library. This way the exhibition will travel the world with the passengers from Schiphol.

The Mix is ​​a project conceived and executed by Stichting Beeldmix with support from the Mondriaan Fund. Stichting Beeldmix thanks The Nederlands Fotomuseum, the Fries Museum, the Limburgs Museum, The National Military Museum and Museum Kranenburgh for the good cooperation.

© (1967) Frits J. Rotgans / Nederlands Fotomuseum
Passagiers in het door Kho Liang-Ie ontworpen interieur bij gate B-30. De Venezolaanse
Luchtvaartmaatschappij Viasa, ging in 1997 failliet.
Schiphol Slumberland ten tijde van Frits J. Rotgans. 

© (2017) Jannes Linders
Holland Boulevard, Hollands kamerlandschap. Occupy

The First World War in the Netherlands
November 11th 2018

The First World War breaks out in the summer of 1914. During four years the war rages through the whole world, but the Netherlands are kept on the side: the country is spared the horrors of the trenches, of heavy bombardments, looting soldiers and villages without any men. This doesn't mean the war goes by unnoticed. The Netherlands are faced with problems ensuing from neutrality, a flood of refugees, restrictions on the freedom of the press, mobilisation and shortages. In the Airport Library there is an exhibition with images of cartoons that appeared in the Dutch press between 1914 and 1918.

Press and Propaganda

In Dutch homes the news on the war is followed attentively. Newspapers report extensively on the progress and consequences of the Great War. The Dutch government urges the press to observe a certain restraint: too much praise or too much criticism for one of the belligerent parties might endanger the fragile Dutch neutrality. Not everyone observes the requested reserve. Some newspapers and journalists are proponents of one of the factions and others are easily bribed.

But acts of war and war crimes do influence the public opinion. Louis Raemaekers (1869-1956) cartoonist for the anti-German newspaper De Telegraaf, is quite explicit about his ideas. The German emperor is portrayed as an ally of Satan, and the newspaper describes the Central Powers as 'a band of heartless scoundrels who caused the war'. The editor-in-chief is arrested in December 1915 and released after seventeen days of imprisonment.

Exhibition in the Airport library

November 11th 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. In the display cabinets of the Airport Library, a number of images of cartoons can be seen that appeared in the Dutch press between 1914 and 1918. The original cartoons are part of the collection of Museum Huis Doorn. Huis Doorn is a Place of Remembrance of the First World War in the Netherlands. Huis Doorn owes its fame mainly to the German ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wilhlem flees after the German defeat to the neutral Netherlands and buys Huis Doorn in 1919. The ex-emperor lives in this estate from 1920 until his death in 1941.

The exhibition is put together in collaboration with Museum Huis Doorn and


Exhibition Slauerhoff
October 5th 2018

120 years ago, Jan Jaco Slauerhoff (1898 - 1936), one of the most important Dutch poets and writers of the twentieth century, was born in Leeuwarden - now the European Capital of Culture. He traveled around the world as a ship's doctor; exotic themes often return in his poems, stories and novels. On the occasion of his 120th birthday, an exhibition has been dedicated to Slauerhoff in the Airport Library at Schiphol, the most international place in the Netherlands.

As a romanticist - always longing for somewhere else - Slauerhoff occupies a unique place in Dutch literature. After studying medicine he sailed as a ship's doctor to the Far East and later also to South America. He debuted in 1923 with the collection of poems Archipel, in which almost all elements from his later work are already present. His fascination for China was reflected in many poems (including in Eldorado, Saturnus and Serenade) and in the novel The Forbidden Kingdom. His weak constitution was the cause of his broken work contracts. In this way he suffered a wandering experience. 'My poems are my only habitation,/ No other shelter could I ever find', read the first lines of one of his most famous poems ('Woninglooze' "Homeless'), which can be regarded as programmatic for his life and work.

Poetry and prose of Slauerhoff has now been translated into 25 languages. A large part op these translations can be viewed in the Airport Library until November 10th 2018.

The exhibition ties in with the theme 'revolt' of the Dutch Month of History (October). For example, his novel The Guadalajara Uprising can be seen in several languages at the exhibition. In addition, a digital exhibition has been set up on the theme of revolt in Dutch literature. 

Within the framework of Leeuwarden Cultural Capital, this month (October 2018) Slauerhoff´s poem 'In Memoriam Patris' was also published in a special anniversary edition in ten languages.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature, partner of the Airport Library, has compiled the exhibition about Slauerhoff and has made translations available for visitors to the Airport Library. 

Alleen in mijn gedichten kan ik wonen,

Inkeld myn gedichten binne my ta wente,

Sólo en mis poemas puedo vivir

My poems are my only habitation,

Só nos meus poemas encontro morada,

Net in my gedigte kan ek woon,


65 years Little Golden Books in the Netherlands
June 11th 2018

Who doesn't know the Little Golden Books. The children's books with the golden foil spine and beautiful illustrations have been published in the Netherlands for 65 years. 76 Years ago they originated in the United States and were an instant sales success. The first 12 books cost 25 cents each and were sold out within 5 months, totaling 1.5 million copies. The Little Golden Book The Poky Little Puppy (in Dutch: Hondje Eigenwijs), published in 1942, was designated in 2001 as the bestselling hard cover children's book in the United States, with nearly 15 million copies sold. Worldwide more than 1,500 Little Golden Books have since appeared and sold more than 3 billion times in total.

In 1953 the first Dutch Little Golden Book (Gouden Boekje) was published, Pietepaf, het circushondje (in English: Little Peewee, the Circus Dog), with the Bezige Bij Publishers. Since 2001 Rubinstein Publishing has taken over the rights and publishes the Little Golden Books in the Netherlands in various formats. Since the takeover, about two million books have been sold in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

More than 50 Little Golden Books of Dutch origin appeared with contributions from, among others, Thé Tjong Khing, Freek de Jonge, Sieb Posthuma, Jan Paul Schutten, Koos Meinderts, Harmen van Straaten, Paulien Cornelisse, Charlotte Dematons and Fiep Westendorp. Rubinstein also works with companies to tailor a Little Golden Book in honor of a jubilee or special event. For example Rubinstein worked together with the Rijksmuseum, Schiphol and Van Gogh Museum.

This summer in the display cabinets of the Airport Library a selection of Little Golden Books can be seen in different languages to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Gouden Boekjes in the Netherlands. And in the library itself we also have a nice selection. 
The exhibition was compiled by Rubinstein in collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for Literature. (in Dutch) (in Dutch)




Opening Airport Library Schiphol

On September 7th 2017 the completely renewed Airport Library opened at Schiphol Airport. A library with 500 books from well-known Dutch authors, translated into over 40 languages as a literary calling card for foreign tourists. In addition to literature, there is a large selection of children's books, and books in the fields of art, history, photography, design and the city of Amsterdam.

In addition to books, the Airport Library offers unique touchscreens that offer the best of Dutch culture. The library itself is also a sample of the best in Dutch design, where sustainablility comes first. The illuminated cabinets are made of more than 5.500 old library books donated by libraries throughout the Netherlands. Sharing stories is key in the library. For example, there is the so-called "Travel Story" application on one of the screens; in which travelers can share their best tips about travel destinations in an unprecedented way. The visitor also has special access to Muziekweb, the largest music library in the Netherlands.

In cooperation with publishers, bookshops, libraries, museums, universities and other organizations, the Airport Library will organize regular events from 2018, such as book presentations, mini-lectures and exhibitions. The intention is to receive important writers and scientists here during their stay at Schiphol and to share their knowledge and expertise with the visitors. 

Schiphol was the first airport in the world with a so-called airport library. In 2010 it was opened. Soon the Airport Library was proclaimed by foreign visitors as one of the most appreciated places at Schiphol. Several airports now have their own airport library. The current renewed Schiphol Airport Library is once again intended as a unique state-of-the-art crowd puller. The Airport Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Airport Library is located in the area behind the security and is part of the Holland Boulevard. This is a surprising and unique area where art, books and culture come together. There is a lot to experience; from a museum visit (Rijksmuseum) to getting a wonderful spa treatment or relaxing reading in the renewed Airport Library.

The Airport Library is a project of the CPNB foundation, the libraries, publishers, bookshops and various cultural partners with funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.