4 March 2019

Andrea van Leerdam receives two American fellowships for research into early modern reading practices

Handgekleurde 'zodiakman' (detail) in Der scaepherders kalengier (1516), Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division
Hand-coloured 'zodiac man' (detail) in Der scaepherders kalengier (1516), Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Andrea van Leerdam, PhD candidate at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, has been awarded two research fellowships by the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) and the Renaissance Society of America (RSA). These fellowships enable her to undertake a one-month research visit this fall to various collections in the U.S. that hold 16th-century medical books from the Low Countries.

Drs. Andrea van Leerdam. Foto: Anna de Roest
Drs. Andrea van Leerdam. Photo: Anna de Roest

In her PhD project, Van Leerdam studies how early modern readers engaged with illustrated medical books in the vernacular, Middle Dutch. What traces are left of their reading practices? And what was the role of book illustrations in the transmission of knowledge on health and the human body to a wide, and not necessarily learned, audience? As a fellow of the RSA and the BSA, Van Leerdam will visit the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda (Maryland) and various other collections to study selected books page by page.