The Recollector | Spaarnestad Photo | Jasper de Beijer


The Recollector is based on the archives of Spaarnestad Photo. This Dutch photo archive holds 20th century press and documentary photography from all over the world. Significant and less significant events, the famous and the well-known, news and its backgrounds, political and social topics, fashion and product design, general impressions and photographic highlights; theoretically, in this archive - with over 11 million photos - every conceivable subject can be found.
The collection started from the archive of the publishing house De Spaarnestad, later on known as VNU, in Haarlem (The Netherlands) in the 20's of the former century. Through assignments to the publisher's own photographers as well as freelance photographers and through subscriptions to the major national and international press photo agencies, the archives grew constantly with large amounts of prints. The editorial departments of the various publications, for instance Katholieke Illustratie, Libelle and Panorama, were free to use this material in their magazines and illustrated weeklies.
Nowadays the archives are maintained by a independent, non-profit foundation ( It is accessible and used primarily for research and publication purposes. In addition, artists are invited regularly to work with the collection and show it in an contemporary context.