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foto: Filip Dujardin

Reading room

In our reading room you can consult numerous authentic documents. You will find a precious archive of printed works, manuscripts and drawings.

Open by appointment

You may gain admission to the reading room from Monday to Friday, 9.30 AM to 12.30 PM and 13.30 PM to 16.30 PM

In 2024 the reading room is closed:

  • Monday 1 January (New Year)
  • Tuesdag 2 January (second New Year's day)
  • Monday 1 April (Easter Monday)
  • Monday 1 May (Labour Day)
  • Thursday 9 May (Our Lord Ascension Day)
  • Friday 10 May (bridging day)
  • Monday 20 May (Pentecost)
  • Thursday11 July (Day of the Flemish Community)
  • Friday 12 July (bridging day)
  • Thursday 15 August (Our Lady Ascension Day)
  • Friday 16 August (bridging day)
  • Friday 1 November (All Saints' Day)
  • Monday 11 November (Armistice Day)
  • from Monday 23 December to Sunday 5 January 2025 (Christmas closing)

We will do our utmost to ensure that you enjoy your visit to the reading room. Book your place in time via our reservation module in Supersaas; 20 places are available. Select one or, if desired, several half-days.

You can also make use of our digital services.
Sometimes test presentations, digitalisation sessions or guest lectures are held in the reading room, in which case you cannot make reservations. 

Book your place in the reading room

How does it work?


At least 48 hours before your visit

  • Reserve your place via Supersaas: state your half-day, several sessions are possible
  • Reserve the works to be consulted online via the catalogues (see lower heading ‘catalogues’)

And if you are subsequently unable to attend? Cancel your place and notify the reading room staff via

24 hours before your visit, we will collect your works and place them in quarantine.
When you arrive and during your visit

We follow the social distancing rules and guarantee a safe reading room visit.

  • Use the lockers provided
  • Wash your hands before entering the reading room
  • You will be assigned a place where your requested works will be stored in a box.
  • Use your own laptop, camera or smartphone.
  • When you are finished, return the works to the box.

Last but not least

  • We clean the sanitary facilities several times a day.
  • We provide hand gel that is safe for you and the collection
  • We put used places and materials such as pencils, lead weights and book cushions in quarantine for at least 72 hours.

Reserve the works you wish to consult via the catalogues

The old library contains about 25,000 works printed before 1800. The collection of graphics and drawings in the prints room offers an overview of old and modern Flemish masters, from Rubens to Ensor, from Jordaens to Paul Joostens and René de Coninck. You can also consult an extensive modern library with reference works on the history of books and prints in the reading room.

Online collectionOnline library

Digital services

If you have a simple research question, we will try to help you as much as possible by email.
More on our digital services.

Opening hours

The reading room can be visited by appointment.

You can visit the reading room on Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 13.30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The reading room is located in Heilige Geeststraat 6, just around the corner of the main entrance of the museum.

tel. + 32 3 221 14 56

How to use the reading room?


Registration for the reading room of the Museum Plantin-Moretus is free of charge. On your first visit, report to the desk with your proof of identity. After registration you'll receive a Reader Pass. On each subsequent visit, you will need to show your Reader Pass and fill in the attendance register. You can also register online via the catalogue web page by clicking on the ‘borrower data' and ‘personal details' buttons or registrate online. Once you have received a reader number by email, you can request works online.

How to request books, archives, drawings and prints? 

Documents can be requested via the online catalogue. When you have found the right entry in the catalogue, click on ‘bestel’ (‘order’) and log in with your reader’s data. 

To request Archive documents, search by 'title' or 'a word from the title' as shown in Jan Denucé’s inventory (Inventaris op het Plantijnsch archief, Antwerp, 1926), or search by location code and the number of the archive document, e.g. MPM: Arch. #.

For documents that cannot be requested online, there will be a library slip available in the the reading room. After filling in the form for each requested document and by giving your Reader Pass number, the reading room staff will fetch the work.

You can let us know about your visit by sending an email to

A few houserules

Coats, book and computer bags, backpacks, umbrellas can be safely stored in the cloakroom lockers behind the reception desk. The Museum  Plantin-Moretus is not responsible for any loss of or damage to personal property. If you are bringing your own books or prints into the reading room, you need to inform the reading room staff on arrival. 

  • Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited in the museum and reading room.
  • Readers are entitled to expect silence in the reading room. Please move around quietly, refrain from talking loudly and switch off mobile phones.
  • Only pencils are allowed when you are reading old books or documents.
  • When searching for items, as well as in emergency situations, you must follow the instructions of the museum and reading room staff at all times.
  • Requests for items may be made from opening time (9.30 am) until half an hour before closing time (4 pm).
  • You can request up to five books and ten prints at a time. The reading room staff will determine how many items you can consult simultaneously.
  • Items are kept in the reading room for up to two weeks.
  • The reading room staff may refuse readers permission to consult works in the reading room that are in poor condition. If you wish to consult such items, you should send a written request to the management, stating your reasons. Works that are temporarily on loan or under restoration are also unavailable for consultation in the reading room.
  • The library does not lend items. Interlibrary loans are not possible.

Photocopies, photograpy and reproductions

You may ask the reading room staff to make photocopies of books. In view of the vulnerability of old bindings, photocopies from books before 1800 are not permitted. Drawings and prints are never photocopied. Request for photocopies of books after 1800 may sometimes be refused on the grounds of their state of preservation. Photocopies may be requested up to half an hour before closing time (4 pm). It is also possible to have photocopies sent to you digitally. The photocopying charge is 0.12 euros per sheet.

You can photograph items with your own camera for study purposes. These images may not be published. The use of flashlights or tripods is not permitted.
Permission must be requested for the reproduction of images.

Requests for images

Requests should be addressed to:

Reading Room/Reproductions
Museum Plantin-Moretus
Vrijdagmarkt 22
2000 Antwerp

Please indicate clearly in your request:

  • the work (author, title, catalogue number)
  • the purpose for which the photograph and/or publication is intended
  • the form in which you want the image to be provided (digital (tif/jpeg) Ektachrome, black & white or colour print).

The price depends on whether a photographer will be needed, on the type of image and the purpose of the publication. Images will only be delivered on receipt of payment. You should allow for a delivery time of about three weeks, to cover the processing of the request, the creation of the image and the sending.

Who 's who?

Reading Room Staff
Nico De Brabander
tel. + 32 3 221 14 56

Denis Van Velthoven
tel. +32 3 221 14 63

Curator Old Books and Manuscripts
Zanna Van Loon
tel. +32 3 221 14 90

Curator Prints and Drawings
16th - 18th century collections
Virginie D'haene
tel. + 32 3 221 14 58

19th - 21st century collections
Willemijn Stammis
tel. +32 3 221 14 59



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