Elsevier and Leiden’s Scaliger Institute Establish Fellowship Program for Rare Books Scholars

Elsevier collaborates with Leiden University Scholars to study Heritage Collection, Elsevier’s 2,000 16 – 18th century books

Amsterdam, January 12, 2012 – Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Scaliger Institute of Leiden University Libraries announced today the founding of a three year fellowship program to enable international rare books scholars to study 16th -18th century scientific scholarship and publishing. The program will support two scholars to work with the extensive Leiden University Special Collections and the Elsevier Heritage Collection for a period of one to three months annually. They will be invited to share their research through public lectures and publications.

The fellowship program builds on Elsevier’s recent launch of the Elsevier Heritage Collection’s online catalogue comprising over 2,000 rare books with more than 1,000 distinct titles published by the original Elzevier publishing house from 1580 to 1712. Based in the Netherlands and closely tied to Leiden University, the original company published groundbreaking work from contemporary scholars including Descartes, Huygens and Galileo. The modern publisher Elsevier, founded in 1880, was named after the original firm when as a tribute to the publishing achievements of the Elzeviers.

The Scaliger Institute will also work closely with the Elsevier Heritage Collection team to provide training and expertise on preservation, exhibitions, display techniques, cataloguing, bindings, history and provenance study. The fellowships offer a scientific publishing complement to the longstanding Scaliger Institute Brill fellowships. These focus on rare books research in the fields of Middle East, Islamic and Asian Studies, medieval and early modern history as well as religious and classical studies.

”Our collaboration falls squarely in the tradition of the Scaliger Institute,” remarked Kurt De Belder, University Librarian and Director of Leiden University Libraries. “It stimulates the study of rare books and special collections to further our understanding of the foundations of academia. The Scaliger Institute is also dedicated to public outreach and looks forward to hosting the lectures and master classes generated by studying the history of publishing and scientific scholarships.”

“The Elsevier Heritage fellowships reinforce our longstanding relationship with the University of Leiden, and builds upon the original Elzeviers’ tradition of publishing the great scientific minds of the 16th-18th century,” noted David Ruth, Senior Vice President of Global Communications, Elsevier. “Supporting scholars to study the history of scholarship and science also ensures that the Elsevier Heritage Collection can be more fully researched and made available to scholars around the world.”

# # #

Notes to editors
The closing date for Elsevier Heritage Fellowship is March 1st 2012. Fellowship applications will be reviewed by a special board consisting of: C. Keijsper MA (Director of the Scaliger Institute), Prof. dr. H. Beukers (President Scholarly Board), Professor Paul Hoftijzer (History of the Book, ULL) and Drs. K. van Ommen (Coordinator Scaliger Institute), David Ruth, SVP Elsevier Global Communications, and Ylann Schemm, Corporate Relations Manager. Additional information and the application form are available on the Scaliger Institute website. Applications may be sent to: K. van Ommen MA, Scaliger@library.leidenuniv.nl.

About the Scalinger Institute, University of Leiden
Founded by Leiden University Libraries and the Faculties of Humanities on the occasion of the 425th anniversary of Leiden University in June 2000, the  Scaliger Institute aims to stimulate and facilitate the use of the Special Collections of Leiden University Libraries in both teaching and research. The Institute offers favorable working conditions and expertise, organizes conferences, master classes, fellowships, special courses and lectures, including the Scaliger Lectures, given by the Scaliger professor and other prominent scholars. 

The Institute is named after the learned humanist Josephus Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) who joined the newly founded Leiden University In 1593. By 1600, Scaliger had become the centre of the young university, attracting students and scholars from all over Europe including Daniel Heinsius and Hugo Grotius. Scaliger donated a substantial part of his library to the University Library and his collection continues to represent the core of the collection of Leiden University Libraries.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contacts:

Leiden University:
K. van Ommen MA
Coordinator Scaliger Institute
+31 71 527 2905
K.van.Ommen@library.leidenuniv.nl

Elsevier:
Ylann Schemm
Corporate Relations
+31 20 485 2025
y.schemm@elsevier.com