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University of Groningen Library

Special Collections as Humanity Lab

27 May 2020
According to humanists like Agricola, human beings are not born but formed
According to humanists like Agricola, human beings are not born but formed

In these corona times, the UG is still closed for the most part but, as a first step, its laboratories have reopened. The Special Collections research room at the UB belongs to this category too. Is that strange? Not really, because the Special Collections department is the laboratory where you can research humanity.

In an article on our weblog Gauronica, Special Collections curator Adrie van der Laan points out that the Special Collections department hosts thousands of books that document human civilization:

"Here, humanity is laid out like a patient etherised upon a table. Here, you can research humanity like a virus under a microscope. Here, you’ll find yourself in a humanity lab where you can discover answers to questions that we are currently facing. Just look, and you will find. No wonder the Special Collections department is one of the first to be reopened—precisely in this time of a crisis of humanity, in which our behaviour is nothing new."

Last modified:14 January 2021 2.45 p.m.
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