Uit: "Orbis. Bulletin international de documention linguistique",
Tome XL 1998.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Centre International de dialectologie Générale.
Vijf eeuwen Nederlands. Luister van de taal. Catalogus van
de Tentoonstelling ter gelegenheid van 40 jaar Kultuurbibliotheek
(Galerij Kredietbank, Brugge 1-23 maart 1997), Brugge
Sint-Andries: Kultuurbibliotheek, 1997. Pp. 52.
The "Kultuurbibliotheek [voor West-Vlaanderen]", which was instaured in February 1957 is one of the nicest examples of what a well-organized, non-academic library of general cultural relevance can achieve. In less than half a century the library bas constituted a collection of some 90.000 volumes, some of which are extremely rare preciosa, testifying to the rich cultural past of Flanders. A special exhibit of part of the Kultuurbibliotheek collections dealing with the history of the Dutch language was organized at the "Kredietbank" in Bruges, and the present booklet constitutes the catalogue of this exhibit.
The booklet opens with a Preface by Luc MARTENS, the former Flemish Minister of Culture, Family and Welfare, a Prefatory Note by Robrecht STOCK, one of the founding members of the Kultuurbibliotheek, and an introduction by the librarian of the Kultuurbibliotheek, Walter DE SMAELE.
The catalogue contains 74 notices on works shown on exhibit, and six illustrations (a.o. the frontispices of the Thesaurus Theutonicae linguae printed in 1573 by Chr. PLANTIN, and of Lambert TEN KATE'S Aenleiding tot de kennisse van het verhevene deel der Nederduitsche sprake, 1723). The catalogue, which is intended to convey an idea of those works that have illustrated the (external) history of Dutch, is organized according to a chronological division: "The early Renaissance 1550-1600" (with a more fine-tuned articulation into three periods: before 1550, between 1550 and 1575, and from 1575 till 1600), "The breakthrough of the Renaissance 1600-1620", "The full-grown Golden Century 1620-1670", "The period of French Classicism 1670-1713", "The eighteenth century 1713-1795", "The nineteenth century 1795-1914", "The twentieth century 1914-1996".
The catalogue opens with the Commentarii grammatici of Johannes DESPAUTERIUS (1480-1520), and ends with the text of a lecture by the historian of Flemish literature René F. LISSENS. Among the most illustrative pieces described in the catalogue are the lexicographical and orthographical works of Joos LAMBRECHT (1490-1556), the PLANTIN dictionaries, SASBOUT'S Dictionaire François-Flameng, KILIAAN'S Etymologicum Teutonicae linguae, SPIEGEL'S Twe-spraack vande Nederduitsche Letterkunst, MONTANUS'S Bericht van een niewe konst, genaemt de Spreeckonst, TEN KATE's Aenleiding, Matthijs SIEGENBEEK'S orthography and his lexicon, Pieter BEHAEGEL'S Nederduytsche spraakkunst, various works by Jan Frans WILLEMS, VERDAM'S history of the Dutch language, and Lambert TE WINKEL'S treatise on Dutch orthography. In general, orthographical and lexicographical works figure prominently in the catalogue. Among the lesser known pieces I would single out the Triglotton dictionarium sive thesaurus Latino-Graeco-Flandricus and the Dictionarium tetraglotton by Matthias MARTINEZ (Martinius DE WAUCQUIER) and the Biglotton sive dictionarium Teuto-Latinum novum by Martinus BINNART.
The notices accompanying the titles of the pieces shown on exhibit contain relevant bio-bibliographical information on the author(s), and on the context in which the work was written and printed. Though concise, these notices are useful for further research, especially since several of them contain references to other copies of the work available in Flemish or Dutch libraries. As a general ruIe the information is very reliable, and the transcription of the titles is accurate (the initial of Latin adjectives referring to languages, e.g. Latina, Gallica, Teutonica, could have been capitalized consistently). I have noted only a few minor errors: p. 14, the life-dates given for Louis MEIGRET, viz. 1510-1560, should have been marked as hypothetical; p. 21 item 18, Le grand Dictionaire FrançoisFlamen should have been assigned to Jan Louis D' ARSY; p. 23 item 20: it is misleading to state that Abraham MYLIUS's Lingua Belgica (1612) is the first comparative study of the Dutch language (1); on p. 27, item 26 should have been identified as a 17th-century edition of BERLEMONT/ BERLAIMONT'S polyglot dictionary (here in its octolingual version); since I did not have the opportunity to examine item 27, viz. BINNART'S Biglotton sive dictionarium Teuto-Latinum novum, I am unable to determine whether this work does not belong also to the same tradition; p. 51 1. 8, read P.G.J. VAN STERKENBURG (2).
All in all, this beautifully printed catalogue is a welcome presentation of several landmarks in the history of the Dutch language, with special attention being paid to the early period of Dutch scholarship, a period of intense intellectual activity.
C.J.D.G., Louvain. P. SWIGGERS.
(1) Unfortunately, the catalogue does not include the foundation-laying work of Joannes GOROPIUS BECANUS, nor the important writings of the West-Flemish scholar Adriaan VAN SCHRIECK [SCHRIECKlUS].
(2) On p. 49, item 69, last line, one should read: cela ne se dit pas'.