The name Moretus is fairly well-known. The Moretus printing dynasty are famous in Antwerp and far beyond for the beautiful old printed books and liturgical works that they issued, following in the footsteps of their ancestor Christophe Plantin (ca. 1520-1589). Thanks to the family’s eminent position and role in Antwerp’s history, various streets and districts in Antwerp still carry its name.
But what about the name Schilders? This family does not enjoy the renown of a Balthasar Moretus or a Christophe Plantin. Yet the Schilders family were no strangers to the Moretuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. To what extent were they friends, acquaintances or business partners? Who were the Schilders family, and how did their family archive and that of their relatives end up in the Museum Plantin-Moretus?
Dorrit Van Camp, a researcher, has published an article on the subject in De Gulden Passer, entitled ‘Onbekend maakt onbemind. Het archief van verwanten van de familie Moretus, in het bijzonder de familie Schilders’ (‘Unknown, unloved. The archive of relatives of the Moretus family, especially the Schilders family.’)
Dorrit studied modern history at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and also obtained a master’s degree in Archive, Heritage and Contemporary Record Management there. She then worked at the Museum Plantin-Moretus, organising and cataloguing the archive of relatives of the Moretus family. She currently works at the Antwerp City Archives.