Protection for bookcase

Visitors to the Anne Frank House enter the Secret Annexe through a narrow doorway, passing the original moveable bookcase that once concealed the entrance. To protect and preserve the bookcase, it has been fitted today with a glass structure.

Glazen constructie ter bescherming van de originele boekenkast in het  Anne Frank Huis.

Johan Voskuijl, a warehouse employee of Otto Frank and the father of helper Bep Voskuijl, built the hinged bookcase in August 1942 to conceal the hiding place in the Secret Annexe. “Now our Secret Annexe has truly become secret”, wrote Anne in her diary on 21 August 1942.

Growing number of visitors

Since 1960 the bookcase has been displayed to visitors to the Anne Frank House without any protection. The vast majority of visitors show respect for the bookcase, but despite this it has suffered some damage over the last fifty years. With the growing number of visitors – almost 1.2 million last year – the condition of the bookcase is deteriorating further.

Experts

Together with a number of experts, the Anne Frank House has searched for a solution that will ensure the bookcase is protected, while still retaining the special experience for museum visitors as they enter the Secret Annexe.

Glass structure

It has been decided to fit a glass structure that will protect two sides and the top of the bookcase with sheets of glass. The open side of the bookcase, where the document files stand, has not been given extra protection because visitors do not walk alongside it.