Paul Valkema Blouw. Dutch Typography in the Sixteenth Century: The Collected Works of Paul Valkema Blouw. Edited by Ton Croiset van Uchelen and Paul Dijstelberge. (Library of the Written Word 18; The Handpress World 12.) Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2013. xxii, 996p., ill. ISBN 9789004256545; ISSN 1874-834. US $353.00 (hardback).
“Bibliographical analysis can lead to results which range well beyond its original objective: the history of the book as a printed text and as the object of the book trade. […] It seems to me of some importance that this possibility should be more widely appreciated.” (113) With these words Paul Valkema Blouw (1916-2000), bibliographer, antiquarian book dealer and book historian, concluded a paper about a small Frisian chronicle in 1984. Working alone in the pre-digital age, using his meticulous analytical mind combined with a rare sensibility to the subtleties of sixteenth-century type design, he composed the Dutch national bibliography of books printed in the Northern Netherlands between 1540 and 1600.