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History of the Book II: Special course


Admission requirements

Only open to Book and Digital Media Studies students and BDMS exchange students. All others should contact the course organisers.


Book catalogues exist in many varieties. They may have been produced for a library, by a publisher, bookseller or auctioneer. Their aims may differ as well: to make books in a collection accessible to users, to alert readers to new publications, or to rouse the interest of book collectors. And then there is the question, how these catalogues have been arranged. Alphabetically, by subject, size, or what? This special course will look at the development of the book catalogue. Students will study a particular genre, or a series or even just one catalogue. The source material will come from the Leiden Special Collections.

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.

Time table

Timetable on the website

Mode of instruction

Research seminar, starting with a series of introductory lectures, followed by regular research meetings and oral presentations.

Course load

The course load of this course is 280 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 30

  • time for studying the secondary literature: 70

  • time to prepare to give an oral presentation and write a paper (including reading / research): 180

Assessment method

Oral (20%) and written presentations (80%).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

A reading list will be provided at the start of the course.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact details

Media Studies student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;

Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 1.02b.