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The KBR library and museum in Brussels

KBR is the national scientific library and collects all Belgian publications. It preserves, manages, and studies more than 8 million documents, a rich cultural and historical heritage of Belgium.  The library has a history that goes back to the age of the Dukes of Burgundy. In the second half of the 20th century, a new building was constructed on the Mont des Arts in central Brussels, near the Central Station. The library owns several collections of historical importance, like the famous Fétis archives, and is the depository for all books ever published in Belgium or abroad by Belgian authors.

Picture courtesy of KBR

Where does the name KBR come from? KBR is the contraction of two names in two different languages, Koninklijke Bibliotheek in Dutch en Bibliothèque Royale in French. Over the years, many different names were used for the libary such as Albertina, KBR, KB, La Royale, BR, Bibliothèque Royale, Koninklijke Bibliotheek. With the name KBR, the library hopes to appeal to a wider audience with a simple name.

There is always something new to experience in the library because some manuscripts are sometimes too fragile to be on permanent display, so they are regularly changed and built up in different themes. There is also a lot of interactive experiences in the KBR museum. Characters from the manuscripts dance on the ceiling or whisper a story in your ear.

In addition to the museum, the KBR also has an inner garden and a concert hall. The library also has a cafe with a roof terrace that is open to everyone free of charge from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pay a virtual visit to the KBR museum now. Thanks to the 3D scanning of Virtual Brussels Museums, you can walk into the KBR museum on your smartphone or computer here.


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