The Gallery

The museum's gallery displays varying, thematic exhibitions and one permanent exhibition based on stories from our literary past which are collected in the museum's archive. Read more here!

Permanent exhibition

In the gallery, you discover how literature is woven into our society and personal lives through themes such as religion, heritage, growing up, sex, pushing boundaries, death, migration, petty bourgeoisie, battles against injustice, and the effect of literature on politics. Also, the gallery touches the subjects of World War II, literary recognition, and the commercial aspects of authorship. 


All themes are visualized by unique and special objects, sound fragments, and handwritings from the archive. View the thin pages of the notebooks on which writers have documented their first insights, hear how Marga Minco and J. C. Bloem read from their own work, and view the pink carnival costume in which Louis Couperus surrendered himself to the ‘schitterende dwaasheid van Nice’ [‘brilliant foolishness of Nice’].

Canon museum

The museum is affiliated with the Canon van Nederland [Canon of the Netherlands]. The Canon lets you pass by 50 windows with people, events, and objects that explain our history together. In the Galery you can find a few key pieces, documents that depict the stories of a few of the 50 windows. 


  • The dossier Fabriekskinderen [Children of the factory] of J.J. Cremer, at the window The Child Protection Act of Van Houten

  • Cahiers of Anton de Kom, at the window Anton de Kom

  • The camp diary of Babs van Wely, at the window World War II

  • The resistance print ‘De achttien dooden’ [‘The eighteen deaths’] of Jan Campert, at the window World War II


Thereby, in the exhibition Annie M.G. Schmidt's Bold and Brassy Kids some of the key pieces are to be found. Do you want to know more about the Canon, key pieces, and activities? Visit

Temporary exhibitions


Deserved, But Not Received

Women and literary recognition: it remains a tricky issue. Female authors are significantly less likely to be awarded literary prizes than their male counterparts. 


With this online and physical exhibition the museum aims to invite the visitor to reflect and discuss the underrepresentation of women in the literary prize circuit, and especially wants to shine light on the oeuvres of five female authors. 


The Conversation Piece

Renske van Enckevort portrayed a friend group of nine idiosyncratic writers who had their debut in this millennium and who bring a new perspective. They are part of a literary generation – all of them post-1980 – where female authors, more than previously, come to the fore: ‘Not a dissenting voice, but a new reality.’


All nine members of the portrayed group write from the conviction that human beings do not exist as individuals, but are formed in relation to their surroundings: society, the media, technology, and also other writers; in some cases, they even appear as characters in each other’s work. The emphasis in this painting is not on the separate individuals, but on the collective conversation. 


Writing families

On the occasion of the Book week 2024, themed ‘In our family’, the museum is highlighting writing families and their stories. In Dutch literature, multiple talented families can be found: brothers and sisters, parents and their children, and of course, writing lovers. Delve into the collection of the museum and discover more about Dutch writer families.


A feast for the eyes

In September, the museum will bid farewell to its director Aad Meinderts, who will then be retiring. Meinderts has taken a dive into the archives and has selected his personal favourites from the immense collection. In this exhibition, he shows his choices and provides more information on some illustrations.



Recommended age: 18+