The lost books of Franeker University

Cold Case 4: The stolen books of the Franeker University

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What is Cold Case Tresoar?

Tresoar owns a fine collection of unsolved mysteries, or ‘cold cases’. Missing persons, unsolved murders, or even cryptography that was never deciphered… Time to get to the bottom of things.
That’s why Tresoar instated its own Cold Case team. Old mysteries are picked up with fresh spirits and new insights. Are we doing this by ourselves? Absolutely not! You can help us. Join us on our dives into the past and contribute to finding a solution! Consider scenarios, bring in the experts, come up with profiles, hand us tips and suggestions. And: share the Cold Case with many others! Talk to your friends about it, or share it via social media like Facebook or Twitter. Questions/remarks? You can direct them at [email protected] or contact us via Facebook  and Twitter.

The Case of the stolen books of the Franeker University

On august 18 1648, new librarian Johannes Antonides van der Linden performed a cabinet search and found out there were 122 books missing (on a grand total of over 800 books). Theft was almost the only option, as 56 broken chains were found behind the paneling. A search was started immediately and eight books were found in the chambers of student Nicolaus Amama. He was actually the son of an old professor, who was already dead at the time. The remaining books have never been found. A list of the missing titles can be found here.

The university of Franeker was established in 1585. After Leiden, it was the second biggest university of the Netherlands. Its library built a vast collection of books in just over half a century. These books were tied up in chains, to prevent theft.

Searching for the stolen books

Tresoar owns a large collection of the original books from the University. Through the years, these books could have ended up anywhere in the world. That is why we hope to get some international attention for this case. To find out where the missing books are, would be very interesting. It is not our intention to add these missing books to our own collection, we just want to know where they are.

How to recognize a book from the Franeker University?
There are a few characteristic signals to identify one of the missing books. More details can be found here.

Will you help us?

Of course, the search for the books starts with the people who are interested in this case. Therefore we need your help, expertise and connections, so we can bring this Cold Case on a broad span of attention. Do you have any tips, suggestions, questions or answers? We would love to hear from you!
On this weblog, you can find all the information you need for this cold case.

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Cornelis van Bynkershoek

Cornelis van Bynkershoek, (born May 29, 1673, Middelburg, Zeeland, Neth.—died April 16, 1743, The Hague), Dutch jurist who helped develop international law along positivist lines. Bynkershoek studied law at

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