Among these books is one by Thomas Mott Osborne, an American politician turned prison reformer who voluntarily experienced prison life first-hand for a week. Additionally, there is a unique compilation of fairy tales featuring tales from eleven allied nations in the First World War.

Writing a Historical Book Review course

These reviews stem from the Writing a Historical Book Review course, an Honours programme offered by the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN). In collaboration with Wikimedia NL and UM’s Special Collections, each student selects an original, unusual, or rare book on psychology related topics to read and analyse. Other parts of the course are a deep reading analysis, specific discipline database search, and a Special Collections tour. Subsequently, they present their findings by crafting a Wikipedia page dedicated to reviewing the publication.

List of reviews

Developing skills for academic communication

This approach not only teaches students how to search for and analyse historical information sources but also equips them with the skills to effectively communicate academic knowledge to a wider audience. Students learn the art of writing book reviews tailored specifically for Wikipedia, fostering a sense of responsibility for their contributions and promoting open access.

To learn more about utilising primary sources in education, explore our resources.

Above: Students and lecturers during a session of the Writing a Historical Book Review course.


Our collaboration with Wikimedia NL is a fine example of how we advance education. By writing a Wikipedia article, students practice referencing, citing sources and writing from a neutral point of view. Did you know that we are the most active university in the Wikipedia Benelux Education Program? Read this article on Wikipedia education at UM.

Usable collection

Maastricht University Library stimulates, supports and facilitates the use of UM’s Special Collections. Think about how using these books can add value to some of your courses or research. Visit our website if you want to know more about how we can support you, or contact Odin Essers, Special Collections curator, via Ask Your Librarian.