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.
Within the field of costume history, fancy dress can be a rather complicated and neglected category. Are we looking at ‘fake’ clothes or well-made imitations? Research can reveal some interesting facts about its production, its previous owners, and their motives for ordering these clothes.
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.