The events of the additional professional program will take place in Belgium - in Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges.
Antwerp, the place of our stay, is Europe’s second-largest seaport and ranks among the world’s top twenty ports. It is the capital of the Belgian fashion and the world diamonds’ trade center. It is the city where Peter Paul Rubens, Antony Van Dyck and Pieter Breugel were born. Antwerp is a real Flanders’ treasure: some medieval streets, a large number of museums (open on Sunday) and shops (mostly closed on Sunday).
Participants of the additional program will visit the University of Antwerp and the Antwerp Heritage library Hendrik Conscience. In the city of Ghent we will not only see the University of Ghent but also the medieval historical centre. The trip to Bruges includes a visit to the City library, both a public library and a research library with an extremely rich collection of manuscripts and precious books. Moreover, there is this historical city, one of the gems of Europe attracting every year lots of tourists. A UNESCO world heritage city.
The free Sunday in the program will give the opportunity to explore Antwerp or to move to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Europe with a most beautiful 'Grand Place'.
The University of Antwerp
The University of Antwerp was founded in 2003 by a merger of three former university institutions, though the history of two institutions goes back to the end of the 19th century. The University is among the top 300 universities in the world (THE rankings, QS). There are over 20,000 students. More than 1,000 students come from foreign countries. The University is located on 9 campuses, mainly in the centre of the city. The main library is a partly new construction inaugurated in 2007. This is also the centre of Anet, a consortium for library automation in the Antwerp and Limburg provinces, being in the same time the producer of ANTILOPE, the union catalogue of periodicals in Belgian research libraries and of IMPALA, the Belgian automated interlending and document supply centre. Also a partner in the Flanders Heritage Library organisation.
© University of Antwerp
The Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience of Antwerp
The oldest library we are going to visit, established back in 1481 as the city library of Antwerp, is the now called the Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience of Antwerp. The library houses in the 17th century buildings of the Jesuit fraternity, enlarged in the 19th and late 20th century with the Nottebohmroom, new storage facilities and a new reading room. It collects systematically all publications published in and about Flanders and Dutch literature and history. Moreover it is the nerve centre of the Flanders Heritage Library, a network organisation established by six heritage libraries in Flanders (Belgium).
The University of Ghent
The University of Ghent was founded 200 years ago in 1817. It’s the second biggest university in Belgium. The University is among the top 100 world universities and it’s considered to be one of the most dynamically developed European universities by number of students (over 40,000) and number of researchers.
© University Library of Ghent Gert Roels
The city, combines medieval style and a dynamic modernity. Gent has a great number of magnificent historic buildings, some of them going right back to the medieval period. Historical monuments are concentrated mainly in the centre, museums are located in the southern part of the city. The western suburbs are busy working and industrial districts. The heart of the city is the truly medieval part with two church towers, a belfry and a brand new city open hall. Shoppers will find from there easily their way to the Veldstaat, the schopping route of Ghent. One of the symbols of the city is St. Michael's bridge which is arched over the Fox Channel.
The 64 m high Book Tower is one of the landmarks of the city of Ghent. An impressive modernistic design by the Belgian architect Henry van de Velde (also the Weimar Academy, predecessor of Bauhaus). The building works started just before World War II. Presently under reconstruction for which the 3 million volumes have been moved to a permanent subterranean storage in the inner yard of the complex. The Book Tower is the centre of all library activities in the University of Ghent. Just opposite houses the new library for the humanities in a renovated 19th century building with quite some achievements in the field of e-humanities. Ghent is a partner in the Flemish Heritage Library organisation.
© University Library of Ghent
We will pay a full day visit the historic city of Bruges. This is by far the most touristic city in Belgium.
Bruges is a city that will capture your heart. It is a city of human proportions, but one that can never be truly fathomed. Its history has made it great, a fact that gave it the title of a Unesco World Heritage City. Retaining the mysteries of the Middle Ages and unashamedly exuberant, Bruges has been an international metropolis for centuries.
© Library of Bruges
We start the day with a visit to the Library of Bruges. The Public Library of Bruges is a public library as well as a heritage library. Its origin dates back to the French period (early 1800). The confiscated collections of abolished abbeys and monasteries in the Lys-department were used to make up a public scientific library for the “Ecole Centrale [central school]” in Bruges. In the course of the 20th century the fusion of this city library and the traditional public libraries resulted in the public library as it is known today. Serving a population of 120.000 inhabitants, as such the Public Library of Bruges is one of the bigger public libraries in Flanders and is also closely involved in the development of a Flemish public library network.
As a heritage library it manages a rich and diverse patrimony consisting of medieval manuscripts, incunabula, early printed books and lots of other collections. A permanent conservation policy constitutes the starting point of its activities. Its cross-pollination with the public library results in a well elaborated public activities policy. The Public Library of Bruges is one of six partners in the Flemish Heritage Library organization and was granted the quality label “Heritage Library acknowledged by the Flemish government”.