Antwerp Summer University 2021

From Monday 27 June to Friday 2 July 2021 the Ruusbroec Institute and its partners, the University of Antwerp Library, Museum Plantin-Moretus and Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience, organise the Summer School Books and Culture 2021.

The Plantin Press and the Religious Book  

International expert speakers will explain the unique position of the world-famous Antwerp-based printing and publishing house founded by Christopher Plantin in 1555. They will discuss how it developed the production and distribution of religious books and related illustrations and prints in the following centuries.

Introductory presentations will familiarize the students with the central role of Antwerp as a printing center from the 16th century onwards, with the religious context in the Southern Netherlands, and with the role and position of the religious book therein.

Most lectures are conceived as workshops and hands-on sessions zooming in on different aspects, including: the world-famous Antwerp Polyglot Bible, the trade in religious books with Spain, illustrated religious books and catholic emblem books, and the link between manuscripts and printed books. Demonstrations will focus on the production of type, typesetting, composition, and printing.

Lecturers will use the holdings of the Ruusbroec Institute and of the library and archival records of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. Students will be invited to handle historic materials. In line with this setup, admission to the Summer School will be limited to 15 Master students, PhD students and postdocs. The presence of staff and lecturers during the course should stimulate the interaction and spark questions and discussions.

Sessions will be held on campus of the University of Antwerp at the Ruusbroec Institute’s library specialized in devotional holdings, and at the Museum Plantin-Moretus, recognized by Unesco for the historic site, its historical and research libraries and its unique series of business papers dating back to the 16th century.

Guided tours will take participants to the Plantin-Moretus Museum, to the stylish Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library, and to the Special Collections Department of the University Library specialized in, amongst other subjects, Jesuitica and Antverpiensia.

An unforgettable experience for every researcher who wants to learn more about manuscripts, books, and prints, and the role they played in Western European culture.

Organization: Ruusbroec Institute Library, University Library and Faculty of Arts
Partners: Plantin-Moretus Museum and Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library

Preliminary Programme

Sunday 27 June 2021

  • Informal welcome drink

Monday 28 June 2021

Ruusbroec Institute Library

  • 09.00 - Registration
  • 09.45–10.00 - Kees Schepers (Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp), Welcome and Introduction
  • 10.00–12.00 - Pierre Delsaerdt (University of Antwerp), Christophe Plantin, Books, Faith and Fear in 16th-Century Antwerp
  • 13.00–16.30 - Antonio Dávila Pérez (Universidad de Cádiz), The Controversial Reception of the Polyglot Bible of Antwerp: Origins, Progress and Censorship​
  • 16.30–17.30 - visit to the University of Antwerp Library (Special Collections)

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Ruusbroec Institute Library

  • 09.00–12.00 - Susanna De Schepper (Flemish Heritage Libraries), Understanding the Hand Press Book (15th-18th Century)

Museum Plantin-Moretus

  • 13.15–13.45 - Printing demonstration
  • 13.45–15.00 - Joost Depuydt (Museum Plantin-Moretus), Typographical and Technical Aspects of the Printing Process
  • 15.15–16.45 - Kristof Selleslach (Museum Plantin-Moretus), Preparing Manuscripts for Print

Wednesday 30 June 2021

Museum Plantin-Moretus

  • 09.00–12.00 - Walter Melion (Emory University, Atlanta, GA), Jerónimo Nadal, SJ’s Adnotationes et meditations in Evangelia: Imprinting the Gospels in Word and Image
  • 13.00–14.45 - Guido Marnef (University of Antwerp), Christopher Plantin: a Handy Businessman in a Period of Religious Turmoil
  • 15.00–16.45 - Ad Stijnman (independent scholar), It Can't Be That Austere!: Plantin and Printing Colour

Felix Warehouse

  • 17.30-19.30 - Antwerp Summer University Reception

Thursday 1 July 2021

Museum Plantin-Moretus

  • 09.00–12.00 - Jan Storm van Leeuwen (former keeper bookbindings, Royal Library The Hague), What about the religious bookbinding?
  • 13.00–14.45 - Antonio Dávila Pérez (Universidad de Cádiz), Plantin's Trade with Spain in Light of the Editorial Strategies of the Golden Compasses and Some Particular Cases​​
  • 15.00–16.45 - Hubert Meeus (University of Antwerp), Antwerp  as Printing Center of Religious Books 15th-17th Century

University Club

  • 19.00 - Summer School dinner

Friday 2 July 2021

Museum Plantin-Moretus

  • 09.00–12.00 - Virginie D'haene (Museum Plantin-Moretus), Print Designs for Religious Books

Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library

  • 13.15–15.00 - Walter Melion (Emory University, Atlanta, GA), Emblems as Spiritual Exercises: Jan David, SJ’s Four Emblem Books
  • 15.00–16.30 - Steven Van Impe (Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library), Liturgical Books from the Officina Plantiniana, Three Centuries of Ecclesiastical Practice
  • 16.30–18.00 - Farewell drink

Summer School

Biannually the Ruusbroec Institute organises a Summer School for doctorate and post-doctorate students, focusing on a specific topic, related to its research domain.

For more information, please contact us.