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Oppression and Freedom

Freedom is not something we can take for granted. In its thematic programme ‘Oppression and Freedom’, Leiden University Libraries (UBL) explores views on identity, relations and the interaction between individuals and groups in the past. The programme includes several exhibitions, workshops and lectures on the subject of oppression and freedom. In addition, there will be blogs, videos and podcasts relating to items in Special Collections.

Special Collections
UBL’s Special Collections provide resources for university education and research for staff and students of Leiden University and elsewhere. UBL’s Special Collections are brought to the attention of the public by means of several thematic fields – such as ‘Cultural Encounters’ and ‘Materiality of Text and Image’ – and drawing on the fascination engendered by historical and exotic texts and images.

Two exhibitions on oppression and freedom are planned for the first half of 2020. In January the exhibition ‘The Intolerant Republic’ opens, on the boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and the intolerance and aggression in early modern Netherlands. The second exhibition, ‘Choices in Wartime’, opens in late April and deals with the end of WWII in the Netherlands, by then exactly 75 years ago. Both exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of lectures.

Workshops and symposium
Workshops will be held throughout the year under the title ‘In Contact with Collections’. Following an introduction, and supervised by a curator, participants in the workshop are given hands-on experience of special items. As a rule, these workshops are organised in the evenings, to enable anyone to take part. A symposium on the freedom of the press and censorship is planned for the autumn.

Blogs, videos and podcasts
Curators and guest authors will post monthly blogs on the Leiden Special Collections Blog page on a topic related to oppression and freedom. In addition, curators will tell the story behind eight items from Special Collections in a series of videos, and Leiden specialists will talk about oppression and freedom in a series of podcasts based on objects from Special Collections.

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

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