The Rotterdam City Library contains the world's largest collection of works by and about Desiderius Erasmus (1469?-1536), perhaps Rotterdam's most famous son. The origin of this unique collection dates back to the seventeenth century when the city fathers established a library in the Great or St. Laurence Church. This bibliography of the Erasmus collection lists, for the first time, all of the Rotterdam scholar's works and most of the studies written about him from his time to the present day.
The collection is of vital importance to Erasmus studies and has, in many cases, provided the basic material for editions of Erasmus's complete works. In addition to the unique sixteenth-century printings listed in this book, the collection includes many translations into Estonian, Polish, Russian, Czech, Hebrew, and other languages. The Rotterdam Library has acquired publications about Erasmus that cover such topics as his life, work and times; his contemporaries; his humanism, pedagogy, pacifism, and theology; his relationship to Luther and the Reformation; and his influence on later periods. The collection numbers (as of 1989) roughly 5,000 works divided as follows: 2,500 works by Erasmus himself, 500 works edited by him, and 2,000 books and articles about him. This bibliographic resource will be of great value to Erasmus scholars, philosophy researchers, and historians studying the path of philosophical and religious thought.