Book and Digital Media Studies, 2011-2012

The Book and Digital Media Studies programme is unique in the Netherlands and Europe. Students are immersed in the history and modern practice of textual information transmission. For many centuries, written information transmission took place only through handwriting, and in Europe this lasted until printing with movable metal type developed in the middle of the fifteenth century. In modern days, many forms of digital text have appeared, such as e-books, cd/dvd-roms and, most importantly, the World Wide Web. Digital developments not only offer fascinating challenges for text publication, and fundamentally change human communication and the activities of institutions and firms publishing information; they also provde a unique perspective on the past, making cultural heritage accessible in new ways and facilitating understanding and study of it.
The Department has a long tradition in offering courses on this particular subject.

Courses

Meer info

Objectives
Programme
Programme schedule
Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

2010-2011

Objectives

Students

  • acquire academic knowledge of, insight into, and skills relating to the field of book
    studies both concerning historical aspects and present day developments; they also
    learn to use the methods current in the field;
  • learn how to think, and act, independently in the course of their research; how to
    analyse complex problems; and how to report on research results in a scholarly manner;
  • prepare for further academic education, such as PhD research and prepare for a
    potential academic career;
  • prepare for any professional position for which the acquired (academic) knowledge,
    insight and skills are relevant.

Programme

Background
The Book and Digital Media Studies programme is unique in the Netherlands and
Europe. Students are immersed in the history and modern practice of textual information
transmission. For many centuries, written information transmission took place
only through handwriting, and in Europe this lasted until printing with movable metal
type developed in the middle of the fifteenth century. In modern days, many forms of
digital text have appeared, such as e-books, cd/dvd-roms and, most importantly, the
World Wide Web. Digital developments not only offer fascinating challenges for text
publication, and fundamentally change human communication and the activities of
institutions and firms publishing information; they also provide a unique perspective on
the past, making cultural heritage accessible and facilitating understanding and study of it.

The Department has a long tradition in offering courses on this particular subject. The
programme is offered in collaboration with the Leiden University Library (UBL), the
Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the national library of the Netherlands, KB) in The Hague,
and the publishing world. The UBL and KB collections are used intensively in the
programme, along with those of the Royal Dutch Book Trade Association (Koninklijke
Vereniging van het Boekenvak, KVB) in Amsterdam. Students of the Book and Digital Media
Studies programme have unique facilities at their disposal, such as the seventeenth-century
Bibliotheca Thysiana and the Press Room of Academic Press Leiden with its letterpress printing
and Electronic Pre-Press facilities.

Structure

The master’s programme in Book and Digital Media Studies spans two semesters.
The first semester provides students with a sound basis and introduction to the field,
conceptually, empirically and hands-on, through a number of related and compulsory
courses. In addition, students are given the opportunity to broaden and deepen their
knowledge by choosing one optional course. Together these courses prepare for the primary
specialisation (the major) and the secondary specialisation (the minor) in the second semester.
Choose between: book history, publishing studies or digital access to cultural heritage.
The specialisation course is followed by the writing of the master’s thesis in the second part of
the second semester. The one-year programme includes a number of excursions, for instance to the Plantijn-
Moretus Museum in Antwerp, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, the annual Buchmesse
in Frankfurt as well as the Institute for Sound and Image in Hilversum (the Netherlands).
Students can also sign up for exchange programmes with various other European Universities.

Programme schedule

Semester 1
Obligatory Courses:
History of the Book 1 (5 EC)
New Media and Society (5 EC)
Digital Media Technology (5 EC)
Bridging Theory (5 EC)

Optional Courses (2 out of 3):
The Library (5 EC)
The Manuscript Book in the West (5 EC)
The Islamic Book (5 EC)

Total: 30 ECTS

Semester 2
Specialisations (2 out of 3):
Publishing Studies (5 EC)
History of the Book 2 (5 EC)
Digital Access to Cultural Heritage (5EC)
MA-thesis (20 ECTS)

Total: 30 ECTS

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

The master’s thesis should deal with a subject within the primary specialisation. It carries
20 ects, corresponding to a length of 17,000 to 20,000 words, and should be written
according to the MLA Style Sheet guidelines. The thesis has two supervisors. Once the
thesis has been approved, it must be orally defended.
Also see: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/students/regulations.jsp.

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