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Royal Library receives centuries-old archives of Belgian national lottery

20:01 18/01/2023

The Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) is now home to the National Lottery's historical collection, which includes 11,000 documents and items.

An agreement for the transfer of the collection was reached last week, resulting in the handover of hundreds of printed documents that date as far back as 1520.

Also among the collection are over 1,000 prints and posters, from 16th-century engravings of the Roman goddess Fortuna to contemporary National Lottery advertising.

The collection also includes 10,500 lottery tickets themselves, dating from 1714 to the present.

This Belgian heritage will be secured at KBR in a closed warehouse equipped with a temperature and humidity measurement system to ensure longevity.

“The repository offers our researchers and visitors many opportunities and avenues of research into the fascinating world of gambling,” said KBR's acting director general Sara Lammens.

“KBR is delighted to take over this task as a national library.”

While the physical objects remain in the secured warehouse accessible only to staff, the collection can be viewed by anyone using the KBR online catalogue. In the coming months, description cards with digital photos will be made.

“The collection belongs to all Belgians and therefore it is important that it is well preserved but also accessible to all interested parties,” said Jannie Haek, chief executive of the National Lottery.

“We could not find a better and more beautiful place than KBR.”

Written by Helen Lyons