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The Academy Library


After years of preparation the Hoogeschool van Stad en Lande, the Academy of the Town and the Province, was solemnly inaugurated on 23 August 1614. Six months later, the Provincial Diet decided to set up a library for this university as well.

The sources for the early library are scarce. They include the minutes of the meetings of the Senate and the Curators, the archives of the library (kept in the Groninger Archieven), the catalogues, and the book collection itself. The data have been collected and discussed by Antoon Gerard Roos (university librarian 1906-1917) for his Geschiedenis van de bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen (Groningen 1914).

Books were purchased at the expense of the budget of the Academy, the ‘peculium academicum’. These funds stemmed from the proceeds of monastic properties that had been declared provincial domains at the time of the Reductie of 1594. These proceeds had to be used primarily for the maintenance of schools and for eduction, a goal which included the library. In 1615 the peculium was fixed at 600 guilders; in 1623 it was reduced to 400 guilders. Of this amount, 75 were allotted to the Rector Magnificus, 50 to the secretary of the Academy, and as from 1626 another 50 to the librarian. The remainder was used first to pay various expenses, and only then was it allowed to spend it on books. The exact amount is not known.