Printed for the blind in 1861 in a tactile alphabet designed by  Valentin Haüy

Printed for the blind in 1861 in a tactile alphabet designed by Valentin Haüy

Sebo Jacobs Hofkamp. Geschiedenis der Beschaving door S.J. Hoogkamp. Naar 't Hoogduitsch. eerste deel. Amsterdam, Gedrukt in het Instituut tot Onderwijs van Blinden, 1861. 29,1 x 21 cm. With title-page and 106 leaves, with the text embossed on the verso sides to be read by the blind. Later half cloth, marbled boards. Bookplate of A.W. Barten on upper paste-down. Title-page with some smudges, otherwise in very good condition.


Extremely rare edition of Hofkamp's Geschiedenis der beschaving, adapted to be read by the blind using a tactile alphabet.


It was printed at the Instituut tot onderwijs van blinden, an Amsterdam institute for the education of the blind established in 1808 by members of several Dutch Masonic Lodges. A few books were printed at the presses of the institute, presumably all in extremely small print runs, since most of them seem to have been lost; the present book is a rare survival.


The tactile alphabet used for this edition was developed by Valentin Haüy (1745-1822), a multilinguist who founded the first school for the blind in Paris in 1785. For his students he designed an alphabet that was embossed in paper. One of his students was Louis Braille, who would go on to design the tactile writing system famously named after him.


From the library of A.W. Barten, director of the School voor de Grafische Vakken in Utrecht and an ardent book collector. His collection included (post-)incunables and many books related to typography.


Not in WorldCat; cf. Huygens Instituut.

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