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Beyond Content: Experience objects from the special collections

Leiden University Libraries has started the programme ‘Beyond Content’ in which attention will be devoted to the materiality of text and image. Through blog posts, publications and other planned activities, the material culture behind special collections can be experienced.

Special collections
Since many years UBL has been responsible for special collections of national and international importance. During those years two things have become clear. First, that the value of special collections goes beyond textual and visual content. And secondly, that using special collections adds to their value and will help pass on this heritage to next generations. Preserving this cultural heritage for the future is therefore a main concern, just as making it available for students, researchers and a more general audience. This is done more and more by providing digital versions. But to what extent can reproductions replace an original? And what do new technologies have to offer?

During the programme ‘Beyond Content’ several activities are organised that make it possible to experience our collections. You can, for example, visit the exhibition Touching Treasures, from 7 June to 9 September, at Leiden University Library. Or interact with the material from the special collections under supervision of curators and experts during hands-on demonstrations. And at a symposium in November a selection of digital research techniques will be demonstrated and discussed, that will teach us more about the material culture behind the special items that we keep here.

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