H. D. L. Vervliet

Hendrik Désiré Louis 'Dis' Vervliet (Antwerp, 31 December 1923 – 5 August 2020) was a Belgian librarian and historian of books and printing.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


Vervliet received a doctorate in classical philology in 1955.[7] In his career, Vervliet worked as deputy director of the Museum Plantin-Moretus,[8] professor and librarian of the University of Antwerp[9][10] and as professor of book and library history of the University of Amsterdam.[8][11][12] In 1968 he became a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in the humanities class.[7] His wife was Irma Regemortels (1928-2006), also a librarian.[4][13]


In his writing on the history of books, Vervliet was particularly known for his work on printing in the sixteenth century in France, Belgium and the Netherlands,[14][15][16] and the work of Robert Granjon.[17][18][19][20] In 2013, Ton Croiset van Uchelen wrote that he "is now generally recognised as the authority on the sixteenth-century typefaces of Western Europe."[8]

After retiring, Vervliet published extensively, in his eighties completing publishing two large volumes on printing in the French renaissance.[15] In his nineties he additionally completed a book on Granjon's floral ornaments,[17] and then a book covering Granjon's entire career published at the age of 94.[18] Returning to the topic of civilité types, which he had published on at the start of his career, at the time of his death he had recently published a paper extending his earlier research on the types of Philippe Danfrie[21] and was working on another paper on Granjon's civilité types.[22][21][23]

A festschrift was published for Vervliet in 1988.[5]


  1. Rouzet, Anne (1986). "Vervliet (Hendrik D. L.). Cyrillic and Oriental Typography in Rome at the End of the Sixteenth Century. An Inquiry into the Later Work of Robert Granjon (1578-90)". Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire: 420–421. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  2. "Hendrik Désiré Louis Vervliet". Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  3. Hendrik D. Vervliet (6 December 2012). Post-Incunabula en Hun Uitgevers in de Lage Landen/Post-Incunabula and Their Publishers in the Low Countries. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 11. ISBN 978-94-009-8828-6.
  4. Simons, Ludo. "Hendrik D.L. Vervliet (1923–2020)". Plantin Institute of Typography. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  5. van Borm, J; Simons, L (1988). Het oude en het nieuwe boek : de oude en de nieuwe bibliotheek. DNB/Uitgeverij Pelckmans. ISBN 9789028914025. Hendrik Désiré Louis Vervliet werd op 31 december 1923 geboren te Antwerpen in een eenvoudige arbeidersfamilie.
  6. Blokland, Frank E. [@ExquisiteFonts] (7 August 2020). "Typographic scholar Prof.dr. Hendrik Désiré Louis Vervliet passed away yesterday at the age of 96. The importance of his research and numerous monumental publications cannot be overemphasized. Without his kind help 25 years ago, DTL VandenKeere would have never been accomplished" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  7. "Members". Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  8. Uchelen, Ton Croiset van (7 June 2013). "Preface". Dutch Typography in the Sixteenth Century: The Collected Works of Paul Valkema Blouw. BRILL. p. 16. ISBN 90-04-25655-5.
  9. Vervliet, H.D.L. (1977). "Libraries and Librarianship in Belgium". IFLA Journal. 3 (1): 9–11. doi:10.1177/034003527700300104.
  10. Corthouts, Jan (2007). "Julien Van Borm, a librarian for all seasons" (PDF). Bibliotheek- & archiefgids: 19–21.
  11. Vervliet, H. D. L. (April 1992). "Review: Koninklijk Bibliotheek en Nederlands Bibliotheekbeleid: Verspreide Geschriften, 1983–1990". Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues. 4 (1): 79–80. doi:10.1177/095574909200400106.
  12. Vervliet, H.D.L. (1978). "Gutenberg or Diderot?". Quaerendo. 8 (1): 3–28. doi:10.1163/157006978X00025.
  13. Van Borm, Julien (2007). "Frida Martens" (PDF). Bibliotheek- & archiefgids: 23–4.
  14. Mosley, James (2006). "Garamond, Griffo and Others: The Price of Celebrity". Bibliologia. 1 (1): 17–41. doi:10.1400/53248. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  15. Mosley, J. (23 June 2011). "The Palaeotypography of the French Renaissance: Selected Papers on Sixteenth-Century Typefaces. By HENDRIK D. L. VERVLIET. (Library of the Written Word, 6; The Handpress World, 4.) * French Renaissance Printing Types: A Conspectus. By HENDRIK D. L. VERVLIET". The Library. 12 (2): 175–178. doi:10.1093/library/12.2.175.
  16. Lane, John A. (27 June 2013). "The Printing Office of Gerrit Harmansz van Riemsdijck, Israël Abrahamsz de Paull, Abraham Olofsz, Andries Pietersz, Jan Claesz Groenewoudt & Elizabeth Abrahams Wiaer c.1660-1709". Quaerendo. 43 (4): 311–439. doi:10.1163/15700690-12341283.
  17. Shaw, David (June 2018). "Granjon's Flowers: An Enquiry into Granjon's, Giolito's, and de Tournes' Ornaments, 1542–1586. By Hendrik D. L. Vervliet". The Library. 19 (2): 238–239. doi:10.1093/library/19.2.238.
  18. Vervliet, Hendrik D. L. (2018). Robert Granjon, letter-cutter (1513-1590): an oeuvre-catalogue (First ed.). New Castle: Oak Knoll Press. ISBN 9781584563761. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  19. Vervliet, Hendrik D. L. (2016). Granjon's flowers: an enquiry into Granjon's, Giolito's, and De Tournes' ornaments, 1542-86 (First ed.). New Castle: Oak Knoll Press. ISBN 9781584563556. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  20. Boardley, John. "Death of a Typeface". i love typography. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  21. Vervliet, Hendrik D L (March 2020). "Danfrie Reconsidered. Philippe Danfrié's (d. 1606) Civilite Types". The Library. 21 (1): 3–45. doi:10.1093/library/21.1.3.
  22. Vervliet, Hendrik (2015). "The combinable type ornaments of Robert Granjon, 1564-1578". Journal of the Printing Historical Society: 25–61.
  23. van Impe, Steven [@RareBookLibAntw] (6 August 2020). "Hendrik D.L. Vervliet has passed away, aged 96. A monument in #bookhistory, it would be impossible to say what was his most important publication. He wasn't able to finish his final article, on Granjon's civilité type" (Tweet) via Twitter.
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