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History of the Book 2: Histories of Reading


Admission requirements

Only available for Book and Digital Media Studies students and BDMS exchange students. Others may contact the course organisers.


During the early-modern period, important changes occurred in the nature and practice of reading and book collecting. The arrival of the printing press made it possible for people to read and own more books, while at the same time the ways in which these books were read and preserved were transformed. This course looks at this phenomenon from the concept of microhistory. What do the reading practices and book collections of private individuals tell us about these developments? To answer this question, students will do independent research on the basis of primary sources and secondary literature.

Course objectives

  • To learn to do book historical research by using and appraising primary source material and secondary literature;
    • To learn to write a book historical research paper.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Oral presentation (25%) and written paper (75%).



Reading list

A reading list will be provided before the beginning of the course. ### Registration

Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.