- Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique/Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België
- (Mont des Arts)The Royal Library of Belgium is the country's national library. Its origins are traced to a collection of illuminated manuscripts assembled by the dukes of Burgundy, which numbered about 900 on the death of Philip the Good. In 1559, the collection was grouped together in the Coudenberg Palace, and it has been known as the Bibliothèque royale since that time. Most of the books and manuscripts survived the fire that engulfed the palace in 1731 as well as the French occupation of Brussels in 1746, when many items were taken to Paris but later restored. In 1754, the library was transported to the Domus Is-abellae, the guildhall of the crossbowmen, located on the current rue Baron Horta. It first opened to the public in 1772. Precious manuscripts and books were again taken to Paris in 1794 and not all were returned in 1815. In 1795, the collection was moved to the Palais de Charles de Lorraine, and it was ceded to the city in 1803.On 19 June 1837, the Belgian state purchased 70,000 volumes from Ghent collector Charles van Holthem, which formed the foundation for the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique. A collection of ancient manuscripts had been acquired by the state during the Dutch regime and the printed works in the Palais de Charles de Lorraine were obtained from the city in 1842. The library opened to the public on 21 May 1839, in the west wing of the Palais d'Industries, an adjunct to the Palais de Charles de Lorraine.The decision was taken to erect a new library in 1935 to be built in memory of King Albert I. Constructed on the Mont des Arts to a design by architects Maurice Houyoux, Jacques Bellemans, and Roland Delers, its cornerstone was laid by King Baldwin I in 1954. It was inaugurated on 17 February 1969. The library is also known as the Bibliothèque royale Albert I and the Bibliothèque Albertine.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.