The Dutch poet Dirc Potter (1370-1428) aimed to teach men and women about morality in his love treatise 'Der minnen loep'. His ideas about love were innovative and kind of unusual at the time, which is only one of many reasons why it deserves a closer look.
曹雪芹 Cao Xueqin’s 18th-century magnum opus, 紅樓夢 'Honglou meng' or 'Dream of the Red Chamber' remains one of China’s most loved classics. One edition from the UBL Special Collections was recently digitised and the map of the garden that it contains preserved. What makes this map so fascinating?
At the beginning of the 20th century, Chinese painter Zhou Peichun started mass-producing beautiful watercolour paintings depicting life in Beijing. Rosalien van der Poel writes about two of his paintings that were recently restored by textile conservator Sjoukje Telleman.
Leiden University was one of the first universities in Europe to offer a practical mathematics course, taught in vernacular, parallel to a theoretical course. Why was this practical course taught and what did it teach students? The lecture notes of one of its first teachers can tell us a lot.
The Sranan language, an English-based creole spoken by people of Suriname, has a long and fascinating history and is gaining popularity as a written language. Fresco Sam-Sin talks about the history of Sranan using documents from our Special Collections and by sharing part of his own story.
At the beginning of the Second World War, a lot of Indonesian students attended university in the Netherlands. One of the best-known Indonesian students is Irawan Soejono. Struck by his story, we discovered new information about his whereabouts and activities during his time as a resistance fighter.