Writing a Historical Book Review

Published on 08 Jun 2021

Today we kick off our yearly Historical Book Review elective course with an introduction to the Special Collections and a workshop on how to search for primary sources within these collections using the online library catalogue. Students are shown examples of psychology classics and other collection highlights held by the Maastricht University Library.

In this collaboration with the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience and Wikimedia Nederland, students write Wikipedia articles on original, strange, or unusual psychology (related) books from the Special Collections that were published before 1920. The course consists of six class meetings during which the students are taught how to write a book review article for Wikipedia and perform a deep reading analysis.

It is a first

In this course students learn to search and analyse historical information sources, communicate academic knowledge to a public audience, practise encyclopedia-style writing, and reference and cite literary sources. It is a first that students are able to publish their own work on an open access platform, such as Wikipedia. Working with primary sources, an increased readership and feeling a certain responsibility for ‘their’ entry, inspire student motivation. It also creates an understanding of the importance of open access and valorization. Images scanned by the library are accessible and used worldwide via Wikimedia Commons. As a result, the articles contribute to a positive image of Wikipedia.

In case you are interested in integrating a Wikipedia assignment and/or workshop into your curriculum, you can check the Wikimedia page: Education Program. If you want to know more about how the UM Library can support you in how to implement Wikipedia in your course, feel free to contact us via Ask your librarian.

  • Author: Kelly Krijntjes


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.


Library update


Last updated: 09/06/21

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