Until further notice, the Van Wylen Library and Theil Research Center are closed to the public, including to students, faculty and staff. We are committed to supporting both students and faculty remotely as classes move online.
A large amount of our material is already online. Search Primo and limit results to “available online”. Remember that you may need to login to access content from off-campus. As courses transition to online, if additional e-book or e-video content is needed, please contact a librarian.
Research Librarians can answer questions by email and through virtual consultations. Research Librarians are also available to join your classes online to provide instruction.
The Joint Archives of Holland will also be providing services virtually to students, faculty and staff. Contact email@example.com.
The Klooster Center for Excellence in Writing will be offering virtual appointments. Instead of filling out the usual appointment form for an in-person peer-review session, students should simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach their writing project (many formats are accepted for attachments).
Interlibrary Loan: As many libraries in Michigan and around the country are closing to the public, borrowing and lending of physical material have been essentially halted. MeLCat requesting has been suspended. We will still do our best to obtain articles and book chapters and are also able to digitize from our own collection. Contact email@example.com with questions.
Due dates have been extended until April 15 for all library material. If your item was already overdue, your due date did not change. We do not expect material to be returned during this time but if you’d like to sort out your overdue item, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All due dates in your Primo Account are accurate.
If there is anything else we can do for you, do not hesitate to ask. We will do our best to support you, even at a distance.
We hope you get a chance to read at least one of these books before October 15. It’s important to read books from a variety of voices to help understand the human experience more fully! Thank you to our campus partners for helping to curate this display!
The Hope College Van Wylen Library has received a gift of four very rare Dutch books, printed between 1669 and 1738, and all are related to exploration and travel. A gift from Keith Miller, grandson of Herman Miller, the books represent a particular place and period in the history of printing when European readers had a voracious appetite for books about other peoples, places and religions.
The titles (approximate translations into English) of the four books are:
An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China by Jan Nieuhoff, published by Jacob van Meurs, Amsterdam, 3rd edition,1670. This was the first extensively illustrated book describing China. First published in 1665. The accounts were based on the journals of Johan Nieuhf, who had embarked on a quasi-official embassy to the imperial court in Beijing nearly a decade earlier; the book is comprised of several texts, many of them derived from earlier Jesuit sources.
The Ceremonies and Religious Customes of the Various Nations of the Known World; together with historical annotations and several curious discourses by Jean Frederic Bernard, Bernard Picart and Abraham Moubach. Published in Gravenhage, Amsterdam and Rotterdam by Van der Kloot, Uytwerf, and Beman; 1727-1738 in 7 volumes). Considered the most famous encyclopedic work on religion of the 18th century, it was later called the first global vision of religion. The seven volumes include extensive engravings by Bernard Picart, one of the most famous engravers of the 18th century. Vol. 1 Jews/Catholics Vol 2 Catholics Vol 3 Americas, Vol 4 India, Asia, Africa, Vol 5 Greek Orthodox, Protestants, Vol 6 Anglicans, Quakers, Deists, Vol 7 Islam.
The fact that all four books were owned by Herman Miller, the President of the Herman Miller Furniture Company, raises a number of interesting questions. It is unknown how he acquired them, but I like to think that they were owned originally by a single individual.
So significant are each of these books that they have themselves been the subject of a number of books and articles. In The Book that Changed Europe (Hunt, Jacob and Mijnhardt, Harvard University Press,2010), the authors describe Religious Ceremonies of the World as “marking a major turning point in European attitudes toward religious belief and hence the sacred. It sowed the radical idea that religions could be compared on equal terms, and therefore that all religions were equally worthy of respect — and criticism.” The books offer incredible insight into eighteenth century views of religion and especially of religious tolerance.
The author and illustrator of A Voyage to the Levant, Corneille le Bruyn, is the subject of a book chapter theorizing that he was likely a spy, and possibly involved in a politically motivated murder of a Dutch statesman.
Hope student Aine O’Conner will be using the Bernard and Picart book on Ceremonies and Religious Customes in her research for an independent study this fall.
When published, The Ceremonies and Religious Customes of the Various Nations of the Known World was sold primarily by subscription for 150 florins, probably about $9,000 in today’s money.
The fact that all four books were owned by Herman Miller, the President of the Herman Miller Furniture Company, raises a number of interesting questions. It is unknown how he acquired them, but I like to think that they were owned originally by a single individual. Such a person would have likely had an extensive library and was probably quite wealthy. When published, The Ceremonies and Religious Customes of the Various Nations of the Known World was sold primarily by subscription for 150 florins, probably about $9,000 in today’s money.
Color printing and office supplies for sale; cameras, headphones and laptops to check out! This is just the tip of the iceberg! Chances are, Media Services has what you need to get going on your project. Check here for an up-to-date list of available equipment.
Studying alone or with a group? We have many different kinds of spaces on all floors for you to use. We love to see the library full of students as well as faculty and staff!
Stay tuned for more library services highlights in Part 2!
Last week, we celebrated our senior student workers with a luncheon at Alpen Rose. Many have worked at the library all four years. We enjoy getting to know these students and appreciate everything they do to help keep the Library running!
In appreciation for all they do for the Library, every spring, graduating senior student workers are able to choose an item (book, CD, or DVD) to add to our collection. That item might be in the student’s discipline of study or from a different area of interest.