The Letterenhuis ("House of Literature") is a Belgian non-profit organization located in Antwerp. The Letterenhuis collects and archives information of Flemish writers and artists, and portraits concerning Flemish culture as from 1750. The Letterenhuis fulfills two tasks: on the one hand it is an archiving and documentation centre and on the other hand it is a museum. The most interesting part of its collection are the manuscripts of famous Belgian authors like Hendrik Conscience, Willem Elsschot and the contemporary writer Tom Lanoye. In 2012 the Letterenhuis featured a theme exhibition about Louis Paul Boon to honor his one hundredth birth year.

LocationAntwerp Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates51°13′22″N 4°24′16″E / 51.22278°N 4.40448°E / 51.22278; 4.40448Coordinates: 51°13′22″N 4°24′16″E / 51.22278°N 4.40448°E / 51.22278; 4.40448
Typearchive Edit this on Wikidata
Field of workcultural heritage Edit this on Wikidata


The organization was founded in 1933 as the Museum van de Vlaamsche Letterkunde ("Museum of Flemish Literature"). The collection was based on the Conscience-archive and the Hugo Verriest [nl] legacy. Just after World War II the name was changed into Archief en Museum voor het Vlaamse Cultuurleven ("Archive and Museum for the Flemish Cultural Life"). In 2002, the name was changed into the present Letterenhuis. The Letterenhuis moved into its present location in 1958, which is located adjacent to its original location in the Minderbroedersstraat. Since 2004 the Letterenhuis is acknowledged as the cultural archive for the Flemish literary heritage.

Main ExhibitionEdit

The Letterenhuis contains a huge archive of manuscripts, notes, diaries, etc. These objects are complemented by biographies about Flemish authors and scientific publications about their works. The museum also draws the attention to the writing process and the way literature is received by critics and the public. The emphasis of the exhibitions is on contemporary literature, starting from 1950.

Theme ExhibitionsEdit

Year Theme
2002 Leeuwen van Vlaanderen Exhibition about the start of modern Flemish literature, with Hendrik Conscience's De leeuw van Vlaanderen as initial point.
2003 'Expo 'Eindelijk!
Lanoye genaaid,
gebonden & in leer'
Exhibition focussing on the bibliophilic editions of Lanoye's novels; a crossing between literature and art.
2003 Godfried Bomans,
de fluwelen duivel
Exhibition about Godfried Bomans' archive
2005 Jeroen Brouwers Exhibition about Jeroen Brouwers' archive
2006 Verre horizonten Exhibition about the way authors push boundaries between cultures and people. The focus is on five authors and their connection with a certain country or city.
2008 Installatie van
Johan van Geluwe
Johan van Geluwe reflects about 75 years Letterenhuis
2009 Dooreman naar de letter Exhibition about graphic artist Gert Dooreman
2010 Dicht bij Elsschot Exhibition about Willem Elsschot
2012 Vila Isengrimus Exhibition about Louis Paul Boon
2013 HAUSER.Expo. Een multimediaal epos Exhibition about Kaspar Hauser, who was an inspiration for poets Annemarie Estor [fr] and Lies van Gasse [nl]
2014 Verre vrienden. Brieven van buitenlandse schrijvers Contacts between Flemish and foreign authors and artists
2015 De Beukelaer's Fabrieken Photos, film and objects from 1925 and 2015 of Jimmy Kets [nl] and the archives of De Beukelaer
2015-16 On the Job for Victory World War I posters of the United States
2016-17 Escaut! Escaut! A literairy journey on the Scheldt
2017-18 Hugo Claus The archives of Hugo Claus


See alsoEdit


  Media related to Letterenhuis at Wikimedia Commons