Book Censorship and Banned Books: the Index Librorum Prohibitorum

Did you know that the earliest known list of recommended and banned books dates from about 496? It was issued by Pope Gelasius I. Printed lists of banned books existed since the beginning of the escalating religious conflicts of the 1520s. They were published in the Dutch Catholic regions (1529), in Venice (1543), and in […]

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The Belgian Exodus of World War One

Today, the global refugee crisis is a hot topic, all over the news and debated about in society. What is to be changed about the current situation? Who is supposed to do what and when? It may be considered a problem right now, but in fact, Europe faced the same problem with the advent of […]

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Breastfeeding heritage for World Breastfeeding Week

As long as there have been babies, which is quite a long time, there’s been breastfeeding. This week is World Breastfeeding Week – coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. In this blog, I look at imagery depicting breastfeeding in Europeana Collections. Portraits of breastfeeding Nowadays, reports of photos of women breastfeeding their babies […]

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Dracula was from Yorkshire – and other facts for Yorkshire Day

1. Yorkshire is the biggest county in England An annotated version of Map of England & Wales showing population, 1700s. Wellcome Collection, CC BY Except that strictly speaking, Yorkshire isn’t a county anymore. In terms of administration, most of Yorkshire is part of the official ‘Yorkshire and the Humber’ region, but the very north of the […]

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Text Announcement in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books

Books didn’t always have title pages! The title page only developed gradually over the 15th and 16th centuries.  Before that time, different methods were used to announce the author(s), title, edition, place of publication, printer, publisher and publication date. The elements indicating the beginning and the closing of individual textual units in medieval manuscripts persisted […]

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Moving, breathing, transforming

Three Butterflies by Herman Henstenburgh, c.1683 – c.1726, Rijksmuseum, public domain ‘The universe is transformation, life is opinion.’ Marcus Aurelius, Book IV, Meditations, c. 121–180 AD Migration has a transformative effect on identity, whether consciously or otherwise. Through learning a new language or a new skill, being exposed to something different or by consciously choosing to […]

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Detail of a miniature a mermaid with a mirror and comb, from the lower margin of the folio.

Mixed-up mermaids

The Deutsches Historiches Museum #DHMMeer in Berlin is running a Europe and the sea blog parade from 20-25 July 2018, asking people to share posts on the theme ‘What does the sea mean to me?’ To me, one of the things it means is mermaids. So I revisited a post I wrote a while ago on […]

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Czechs and Slovaks fighting for independence during World War One

At the end of World War I, the geo-political landscape of Europe changed dramatically. Following the Treaty of Versailles several new nations emerged, among them Finland, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The multi-ethnic Empire of Austria-Hungary was divided into  Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Already before the end of the war the Czechoslovak First Republic had […]

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