Universiteit Leiden

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Experience the university and student life in the Leiden Special Collections

With the thematic programme 'Student@University', Leiden University Libraries illuminates the rich past of the university and its students. Several online exhibitions, boekensalons and public lectures will be organised around this theme, especially for the interested public, and various blogs, videos and podcasts will be published on items from the Leiden special collections.

History of the University and student life

Creators of the thematic program 'Student@University' draw upon a rich source. UBL holds the Leiden University archives, going back to its founding in 1575, and archives of professors and study- and student societies. Moreover, the collections hold handwritten lecture notes, prints by early university printers, portraits of professors, historical photographs featuring students and many other documents on the Leiden academic community.

Sophia L. Antoniadis was the first female professor at Leiden University


During the thematic programme, several different activities will be organised. A diverse selection of online exhibitions will be presented. An exhibition on the occasion of Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker's retirement, for example, and photography exhibitions revealing daily life as a Leiden University student now and in the past. Also, various boekensalons will be presented, like a boekensalon on the occasion of the publication of the fourth part in Willem Otterspeer's book series "Groepsportret met dame", a history of Leiden University. A number of blogs will be published on a wide selection of items from the Special Collections, alongside videos with UBL curators and podcasts with Leiden University researchers. A thematic edition of magazine De Boekenwereld already came out at the end of last year, exhaustively covering a selection of Leiden items and collections in this theme.

Bijzondere collecties

UBL holds special collections of national and international importance. The preservation of this cultural heritage receives the greatest possible care, as does the availability of it for students and researchers. Through the organisation of thematic programs like "Student@University" - and earlier programs like "Beyond Content" and "Oppression and Freedom" - the interested public is brought into contact with items from the Leiden Special Collections, encouraging new and innovative ways of using them.

The first years of Leiden University Library. Print by Woudanus.

Keep posted

If you want to be kept informed about the activities in the thematic programme Student@University and other activities of Special Collections, please subscribe to our mailing list via aanmelding@library.leidenuniv.nl. You will then receive invitations by email for all activities.

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