NLN and IMD kick-off collaboration with the National Library: Books Make Friends

On Monday, 21 February 2022, students from the Master Non Linear Narrative and the Bachelor Interactive / Media / Design departments of the Royal Academy of Art visited the National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) to kick-off a semester-long collaboration, during which students will research the library’s comprehensive catalogue of alba amicorum (friendship books) with a view to making these resources accessible to a wider audience (like e.g. other makers, creative users).

Books Make Friends

The kick-off started on site, with presentations by several restoration experts. These talks were followed by a guided tour of the library’s large-scale storage depot. The program was completed by talks on user accessibility within an open digital context.

In order to understand the significance of the alba amicorum collection and gain insight into how archives can function as a source of inspiration for new cultural creativity, students attended presentations by Rianne Koning, Coordinator Public Programming, Jeroen Vandommele, Curator Modern Manuscripts, Sophie Reinders, Assistant Professor at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and Dick van Dijk, Creative Director at Waag, Amsterdam.

The National Library was established in 1798 with the goal to preserve all texts – whether printed, digital or handwritten – that make up the cultural heritage of the Netherlands. It organises events and conferences on a regular basis to make its knowledge and expertise publicly accessible. The collection of alba amicorum is by far the largest in this field.

The projects are funded by Creative Europe – Open Digital Libraries (ODL) consortium. Books Make Friends is a follow-up to the collaboration with the IAFD department.