Reading room

In our reading room you can consult numerous authentic documents. You will find a precious archive of printed works, manuscripts and drawings.
Online collection Online library

You can consult old and modern books, manuscripts, archive documents, prints and drawings here. The reading room is located in Heilige Geeststraat 6.


Heilige Geeststraat 6

tel. + 32 3 221 14 56
fax + 32 3 221 14 83 

Opening hours

The reading room is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
The reading room is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The reading room is closed on the following days in 2019

  • thursday 15 and friday 16 August
  • friday 1 November
  • monday 11 November
  • wednesday 25, thursday 26, friday 27 December
  • monday 30 and tuesday 31 December


Who's who?

Reading room staff

Nico De Brabander
tel. + 32 3 221 14 56

Jan De Bruyn
tel. + 32 3 221 14 63

Reading room coordination

Marc Cauwenbergh
tel. + 32 3 221 14 93

Curator of Books and Archive

Dirk Imhof
tel. + 32 3 221 14 69

Curator of the Print Cabinet Collection

Marijke Hellemans
tel. + 32 3 221 14 59

Using the reading room


Registration for the reading room of the Museum Plantin-Moretus is free of charge. On your first visit, report to the desk with your proof of identity. After registration you'll receive a reader’s card. On each subsequent visit, you will need to show your reader’s card and fill in the attendance register. You can also register via the catalogue web page by clicking on the ‘borrower data' and ‘personal details' buttons or registrate online. Once you have received a reader number by email, you can request works via the Internet.


Items that you do not need for your research (coats, book and computer bags, backpacks, umbrellas, etc.) can be safely stored in the cloakroom lockers behind the reception desk. The Museum  Plantin-Moretus is not responsible for any loss of or damage to personal property. If you are bringing your own books or prints into the reading room, you need to inform the reading room staff on arrival.

Requesting works

Documents can be requested electronically via the online catalogue. When you have found the right entry in the catalogue, click on ‘bestel’ (‘order’) and log in with your reader’s data. 

Archive documents can also be requested electronically. Search by title or a word from the title as shown in Jan Denucé’s inventory (Inventaris op het Plantijnsch archief, Antwerp, 1926), or search by location code and the number of the archive document, e.g. MPM: Arch. #.

For documents that cannot be requested electronically, fill in a library slip completely and clearly for each requested document, giving your reader’s card number. Give the slip to the reading room staff, who will fetch the work.

You can let us know about your visit by sending an email to

A few rules

  • Readers are entitled to expect silence in the reading room. Please move around quietly, refrain from talking loudly and switch off mobile phones.
  • Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited in the museum and reading room.
  • Only pencils are allowed when you are reading old books or documents.
  • When searching for items, as well as in emergency situations, you must follow the instructions of the museum and reading room staff at all times.
  • Requests for items may be made from opening time (9.30 am) until half an hour before closing time (4 pm).
  • You can request up to five books and ten prints at a time. The reading room staff will determine how many items you can consult simultaneously.
  • Items are kept in the reading room for up to two weeks.
  • The reading room staff may refuse readers permission to consult works in the reading room that are in poor condition. If you wish to consult such items, you should send a written request to the management, stating your reasons. Works that are temporarily on loan or under restoration are also unavailable for consultation in the reading room.


The library does not lend items. Interlibrary loans are also not possible at present.

Photocopies and reproductions

You may ask the reading room staff to make photocopies of books. In view of the vulnerability of old bindings, photocopies from books before 1800 are not permitted. Drawings and prints are never photocopied. Request for photocopies of books after 1800 may sometimes be refused on the grounds of their state of preservation. Photocopies may be requested up to half an hour before closing time (4 pm). It is also possible to have photocopies sent to you digitally. The photocopying charge is 0.12 euros per sheet.

Requests for images

Requests should be addressed in writing to:

Nico De Brabander
Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room
Vrijdagmarkt 22
2000 Antwerp or

Please indicate the following clearly in your request:

  • the work (author, title, catalogue number)
  • the purpose for which the photograph and/or publication is intended
  • the form in which you want the image to be provided (digital (tif/jpeg) Ektachrome, black & white or colour print).

The price depends on whether a photographer will be needed, on the type of image and the purpose of the publication. Images will only be delivered on receipt of payment. You should allow for a delivery time of about three weeks, to cover the processing of the request, the creation of the image and the sending.

You may make digital images with your own camera for study purposes. You may not publish these digital images. The use of flashlights or tripods is not permitted.

Permission must be requested for the reproduction of images.

Museum Plantin-Moretus
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