Antonius Martinus Verweij (Nijmegen 1911, January 24 - Nijmegen 1988, April 5) is one of the great names of photography in Nijmegen after the war.* Verweij, who worked his way up from being a clerk to a bookkeeper, started his own business at a young age. He opened a photography shop at 241 Groenestaat in 1935. His love for photography dated from his youth, when he worked in the shop of C.A.P. Ivens, father of the filmmaker Joris Ivens.
After the war Verweij built up his company. In 1952 he opened a large shop at 145 Plein 1944. Twelve years later, in 1964, he started a branch at 13 St. Jacobslaan and in 1968 he opened other premises at 829 Hatertseweg. In 1974 this business was moved to 138 Hatertseweg.
Illness and a lack of successors forced Antoon Verweij to abandon his business. In 1976 he handed over the Plein 1944 premises to A. Adams, who continued under the name ‘Foto Verweij’. The branch at 829 Hatertseweg was taken over in 1976 by S.C.C.M. Willems, using the name 'Foto Stef Willems'. The business at the Groenestraat was taken over in 1980 by Gerard Nijs, who kept the name ’Foto Verweij’. The shop at 138 Hatertseweg, which sold photography and drugstore goods, closed its doors in 1987.
In 2003, June 1, Gerard Nijs handed the shop at the Groenestraat over to a new owner, who also retained the name 'Foto Verweij'. The premises at Plein 1944, owned by the second generation of the Adams family, still carries the name of its founder Antoon Verweij: 'Combifoto Verweij'.
All black and white films which were handed in to the company owned by Verweij were processed at the Groenestraat. This shop also processed the films made by the Verweij photographers. Over the years this produced a collection of tens of thousands of negatives.
Gerard Nijs, the owner of the shop, left this collection to het Regionaal Archief Nijmegen in 2000. Apart from photos of soldiers, this collection shows wedding festivities, the ordination of priests, festivities in the city and so on. They give a good atmospheric description of Nijmegen. In due course these negatives will be scanned and published on the Archives website.