Small exhibition

until 4 September 2022

25 remarkable books with ties to Leiden

Books that made History focuses on 25 remarkable books and their authors. The central theme is their strong connection with the academic history of the city of Leiden, from the founding of the university in 1575 to the present day. The influence of these books extends well beyond the city, however – and indeed continues to place its stamp on our thinking today. From Galileo Galilei to Albert Einstein, and from Anna Maria van Schurman to Anton de Kom: these are authors, books, and visions that still fill us with wonder.

Portrait photos: © Leiden University Libraries, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Wellcome Collection, National Archives The Hague, RKD, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken and Wikimedia Commons.

A selection of 25 books

Contemporary experts and ‘ambassadors’ – some well known, others less so – breathe new life into the books with their knowledge, anecdotes, and personal reflections. These are presented in exhibition texts, the audio guide, videos, and a book produced to accompany the exhibition. The exhibition looks at the 25 works from the perspective of the times in which they were written, including the rise of universities and libraries, the role of printing presses, and the place of women and people of colour in this history.

Books Boeken die geschiedenis schreven schrijvers auteurs

From top left: Von Siebold, Capitein, Linnaeus, De Kom, Einstein, Van Doesburg, De Vries, Van Till d’Aulnis

Books Boeken die geschiedenis schreven Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei | Collection: University Library Leiden