The aim of the project

This project is for students of the Maastricht Science Programme. The aim is to do a comparative analysis between the content of an interesting, important, and/or peculiar plant-biology related book and current-day knowledge on that topic. Then write a book review and publish it on Wikipedia, supported by Wikimedia NL volunteers. By doing so students acquire academic skills and acquaint themselves with primary sources which create a stimulating educational environment and leads to critical thinking.

Wikipedia articles

Last January students selected a 1927 three-volume copy of Dutch botanist Karel Heyne’s (1877-1947) De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië, a revised reprint of the original 1913 edition. Heyne’s book was the first comprehensive handbook on the useful plants of the Dutch East Indies. The other book students wrote a Wikipedia article about is the 1924 Textbook of general botany, which in the 1930s established itself as a standard in the field of botanical teaching.

You can read the articles on Wikipedia by following the links below:

Student experience

Curious to know how students experienced this project? See how Emmeline, Verena and Nina experience this 4-week research project in 2021, and get some tips and tricks on how to consult primary sources and write a Wikipedia article.


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?

Contact us

Maastricht University Library stimulates, supports and facilitates the use of UM’s Special Collections and the thoughtful integration of digital technology to advance education and research. Think about how using these books can add value to some of your courses. If you want to know more about how we can support you, contact curator Odin Essers via Ask your librarian.

Authors: Odin Essers, Curator Special Collections and Souhaïlla Koudan, Event Coordinator Special Collections