Antwerp, Belgium

Books and Culture: The Plantin Press and the Religious Book

when 28 June 2021 - 2 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 500

International expert speakers will explain the unique position of the world-famous Antwerp-based printing and publishing house founded by Christopher Plantin in 1555. They will discuss how it developed the production and distribution of religious books and related illustrations and prints in the following centuries.

Introductory presentations will familiarize the students with the central role of Antwerp as a printing center from the 16th century onwards, with the religious context in the Southern Netherlands, and with the role and position of the religious book therein.

Most lectures are conceived as workshops and hands-on sessions zooming in on different aspects, including: the world-famous Antwerp Polyglot Bible, the trade in religious books with Spain, illustrated religious books and catholic emblem books, and the link between manuscripts and printed books. Demonstrations will focus on the production of type, typesetting, composition, and printing.

Lecturers will use the holdings of the Ruusbroec Institute and of the library and archival records of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. Students will be invited to handle historic materials. In line with this setup, admission to the Summer School will be limited to 15 Master students, PhD students and postdocs. The presence of staff and lecturers during the course should stimulate the interaction and spark questions and discussions.

Sessions will be held on campus of the University of Antwerp at the Ruusbroec Institute’s library specialized in devotional holdings, and at the Museum Plantin-Moretus, recognized by Unesco for the historic site, its historical and research libraries and its unique series of business papers dating back to the 16th century.

Guided tours will take participants to the Plantin-Moretus Museum, to the stylish Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library, and to the Special Collections Department of the University Library specialized in, amongst other subjects, Jesuitica and Antverpiensia.

An unforgettable experience for every researcher who wants to learn more about, manuscript, books, and prints, and the role they played in Western European culture.

Target group

Master students, PhD students and postdocs intending to integrate book historical approaches into their reseach (history, literary history, art history, religious and church history...)

Credits info

3 EC
Participants who want to acquire official ECTS credits can be awarded 3 ECTS credits upon writing an academic paper related to one of the summer school’s topics.

Participants who attend at least 90 % of the classes, but do not write a paper will receive a certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 500: The fee includes course material, coffee breaks, lunches and the summer school dinner and a farewell reception. It does not include accommodation.