Special Collections in education

by | 5 Jul 2018

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 the added value using these books can have in some of your courses. Let us know how we can support you. Start with contacting us for a private tour of the collections.


Benefits for your students

  • using primary sources creates a stimulating educational environment
  • physically experiencing these sources in its raw, unmediated form, unselected and untranscribed, encourages discussion, generates uncommon ideas, and leads to critical thinking
  • engaging with primary sources is challenging and intriguing because students come into contact with traces left by real people who lived and thought and acted
  • extracting information from a large amount of disparate material by distinguishing what is relevant and useful, is a skill essential to academic learning.




We currently contribute to several faculty courses with our collections of travel books, and books on literature, psychology, law and medicine. One example is our contribution to the opening of an elective about art and medicine, initiated by the the Arts and Heritage Commission and this year coordinated by the Jan van Eyck Academy. In this course bachelor students of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences try to answer if experiencing art makes them a better doctor. It consists of training sessions, research, workshops, lectures and interviews. The library contributed with a lecture and a self-study assignment about anatomical atlases. They also participated in a Special Collections tour.


Photo: UM Library

Curator UM Special Collections Odin Essers lectures about anatomical atlases and the iconography of the so-called skin man in art and medical illustration.



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


Foto: UM Library

Dr Ben de Bruyn, senior lecturer Arts and Literature (FASoS) teaches students during the FASoS seminar Style and Modernity.



Contact us

If you want to know more about how we can support you, contact curator Odin Essers via Ask your librarian.


Further reading:

Pin It on Pinterest

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: