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Cook’s KB Lecture Published

Harold Cook, NIAS-KB Fellow and professor at Brown University, held the annual public KB Lecture, on 16 January 2013. He received the first copy of the accompanying publication, Assessing the Truth, Correspondence and Information at the End of the Golden Age.


About Assessing the Truth

At the Koninklijke Bibiotheek in The Hague, historian Harold Cook presented the results of his research on the exchange of information among seventeenth-century scholars, focusing on the rich collection of Cuper’s  writings. Gisbert Cuper (1644-1716) was a renowned Dutch scholar who corresponded with scholars, collectors and librarians from all over Europe. In his lecture, Cook characterises Cuper’s correspondence as a search for truth. Using telling examples such as mermaid stories, images of antique coins and drawings of exotic tribes, Cook reveals the motivation of his 17th century predecessor. The historical practice of information exchange in the Republiek der Letteren (Republic of Letters) was related to contemporary concerns such as Open Access.


About the Publication

The text of the lecture is published by Primavera Pers.  Assessing the Truth, Correspondence and Information at the End of the Golden Age can both be bought or freely downloaded at our website. The website of the KB offers the possibility to listen to the entire lecture and to browse through the highlights of the KB’s modern manuscripts collection in an online exhibition.


About the KB Fellowship

The Lecture is part of the KB Fellowship, co-sponsored by NIAS and the KB – National Library of the Netherlands. It is awarded to a scholar of repute in the field of the humanities, who wishes to use the extensive collections of the KB for his research. Previous KB Fellows include Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Jonathan Israel, Lisa Jardine and Eberhard König.