The Joh. Enschedé type-specimen collection

To all type enthousiasts!

The North-Holland Archives house the collection of the famous Haarlem based Typefoundry and printer Joh. Enschedé. Within this collection there's a subcollection of over 2000 historical type-specimen from different typefoundries from the Netherlands/all over Europe between 1700-1990.

The inventory of this subcollection is now online (in Dutch, but searchable by names, titles and dates), and free digital scans of any type specimen can be requested by anyone.

Feel free to browse through the collection here. As an example, you can view the digitized type-specimen by Enschedé from 1768 here.

Have fun!


  • Robin Mientjes
    Thanks, Mart! This is a great service – hope it helps a lot of people.
  • Dan Reynolds
    Dan Reynolds Posts: 175
    Mart, thank you very much! This is excellent news.

    I have had a brief look at the website, and I have two questions:
    1. You mention that free digital scans of any type specimen can be requested by anyone. Is there a form on the website that should be used by online visitors who would like to do this? Or should we e-mail the museum with information about the specific item from the catalog? May we write to the museum in other languages than Dutch? (English, German, etc.).
    2. As scans are made according to requests, will those images eventually be uploaded onto the website for other vistors to access, too?

  • Robin Mientjes
    One note to add to Dan’s questions: I requested a set of scans and was told the Enschedé collection is not included in the request program. So maybe this is still quite new to the people of the archive?
  • Mart
    Mart Posts: 3
    Hi Dan and Robin,

    The scans can be requested by going to the description of the type-specimen you'd like to have digitized, and click on the CD-icon in the list of icons (these should appear tomorrow, after an update). Then you fill out a form and it should be digitized in 2-3 weeks. You'll get a notification when it's done. As soon as it's digitized, other people can also view and download the images.

    There is a how-to page, but unfortunately its only available in Dutch (here). I don't know how well this holds up to a Google-translate query, but feel free to give it a try. If it doesn't appear to work, or if you have any further questions, feel free to contact info[at] and they should be able to help you out :)

  • What's the highest resolution?
  • George Thomas
    If they are using the typical library scanner, they may claim hi-res (300+) but if the buyer is interested in fine detail, it will not be there.