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The Antwerp Roots of the Riga City Printer's Office. The Lives and Afterlives of Niclaes Mollijns


Beate Orlova talks about her research on the Antwerp-born printer Niclaes Mollijns (c. 1550-1625). With his move to Riga (Latvia), Mollijns also took with him his knowledge of the printing trade.

In 1586, the Antwerp-based printer Niclaes Mollijns (c. 1550-1625) disappears from local records. Two years later, a man with a similar name installs the first city printer’s office in Riga, Livonia (in today's Letland). While scholars have generally accepted that this is one and the same person, so far the two periods of -Mollijns’ life have been researched as separate entities.  

In this workshop, Beate Orlova will present new insights into the ties between within the book trade of the Southern Netherlands and Livonia Livonian book trades based on the analysis of extant printed books in both regions and the used woodcuts and type. In doing so, she will provide a glimpse into the 'afterlives' of Niclaes Mollijns: the use of woodcuts Mollijns had brought over from Antwerp in books printed in Riga after his death.  

Beate Orlova is a collections expert at the National Library of Latvia, specializing in 16th century Livonian book history, and curator of the guest exhibition The Essence of a Typographer. Niclaes Mollijns: Antwerp-Riga


A workshop at the expo


The essence of a Typographer

Niclaes Mollijns: Antwerp-Riga
    Thursday 25 May 2023 until Wednesday 28 June 2023 from 10:00 to 17:00

This guest exhibition by the National Library of Latvia brings together books printed by the first publisher to print books in Riga (Latvia): Niclaes Mollijns (c. 1550–1625). He was born in Antwerp as the son of Jan I Mollijns, an established woodcutter and publisher. Before he moved to Riga in the 1580s, Niclaes worked as an apprentice in the printing office of Christophe Plantin.  

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Unesco werelderfgoed

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