A Colleague´s Retirement: A Tribute to Hans Verstraate


Next month, Hans Verstraate will retire from his job as a Cataloguing-Librarian in the Peace Palace Library. For more than 14 years, Hans has catalogued thousands, maybe millions, of books, journals, articles and documents. Hans obtained a masters degree in Dutch Studies from Leiden University. He specialized in 17th and 18th century literature. His linguistic fascination was most valued in his line of work at the Peace Palace Library.

The Library has an extensive collection of  International Law materials and other related subjects, in all the languages of the world. Over the years, books in English, French, German, Spanish, Greek and Portuguese but also in Japanese, Chinese and Arabic passed his desk. He also catalogued electronic materials and lately, his help was frequently asked for cataloguing a very special section in the library, namely the collection of old and rare books. They represent the important sources of modern international law and need to be available for researchers.

His keen eye for detail and love for books made him extraordinarily well suited for this work. He has greatly contributed to the essential part of the library: the Catalogue. Cataloguing rules may change over the years, but without a catalogue no book can be found.

Hans has been a warm and sympathetic colleague, whose output is legendary and he will be sorely missed. We wish him many happy years to come, devoting his time to gardening and singing in his beloved choirs.