Stories of Frisia

Here we link locations in the northern Netherlands and northwest Germany to books from the Special Collections in the University of Groningen Library, mapping the cultural-intellectual history of Frisia in which the foundation of the Academy in Groningen in 1614 was a highlight.

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22 Stories


Venice in Frisia

Pieter Beyntsma from Stavoren copied brandnew learning from Italy into these brandnew books from Venice. View this story

A Collage Chronicle

The chronicle composed here around 1510 in the monastery of Thabor presents the world through the eyes of a monk. View this story

Baart at Boteringestraat

Here once lived a prominent professor of medicine who owned a lavishly decorated book of psalms from the convent of Selwerd. View this story

Reading for Reformation

A hefty manuscript of some 200 parchment leaves was written here in a monastery between 1469 and 1488. Its purpose was reformation. View this story

Chronicle and Kalands Brethren

Here in this church, a priest owning a copy of the most illustrated book of his time worked in the late 15th century. View this story

Psalms in the Family

The Hinckaertshuis is one of the oldest buildings in the city of Groningen. It has a connection with a manuscript psalter from Selwerd. View this story

A Chronicle of Wonders

Here in city hall is a painting of a 17th-century mayor who owned a richly illustrated chronicle of the world from 1493. View this story

Vindicat and Freemasonry

Here the first student association in the Netherlands was founded in 1815. One of the founders owned a law book with a remarkable pedigree. View this story

Upheaval in the Ommelanden

This book owned by Nicolaas Schaffer, squire of Losdorp, presents an artistic view of legal matters in the Ommelanden in the 16th century. View this story

Treasure in Thesinge

This beautiful little book of tides was written around 1515 here in Thesinge, in the Germania monastery. View this story

Read with a Weeping Heart

Until 1599, this was the location of the Olde Convent. In 1438, Hille Baereldes donated this book to its sisters. View this story

Traveller to Rome in 1211

From November 1211, the abbot of the monastery here travelled to Rome to seek justice. He wrote about it in this personal chronicle. View this story

Broad-minded Rottum

Alberthus Wilhelmi, abbot of the catholic monastery here at Rottum, bought these Protestant books for his monks. View this story

Cicero in East Frisia

Here in Greetsiel Ubbo Emmius was born. In this printed book he wrote many annotations. View this story

Missal, fraud and vandalism

A luxurious missal printed on parchment was in regular use here for many years. It then became the means of a fraud. View this story

Elema’s Sachsenspiegel

From 1536 to 1566, Rinke Elema wrote six remarkable annotations about the mill here at Uithuizen in this medieval law book. View this story

Wicheringe was here

Rodolf Wicheringe lived here once. He donated this book by Poliziano to the University Library. View this story

Erasmus & Luther in Frisia

This castle was once the home of a book in which Martin Luther personally wrote many outbursts against his nemesis Erasmus of Rotterdam. View this story

A True Work of Art

This gorgeous book of tides once belonged to Simon Abbes Gabbema, who was Friesland's official historiographer. View this story

Chronicle on a Chain

The most illustrated book of its time spent the entire 16th century here, chained to a shelf in the library of the Martini Church. View this story

Councillor and Law Text

In 1507, a mighty legal scholar and politician was born here: Viglius ab Aytta. He wrote his name in this book of canon law. View this story

Boundless Scholarship

Here Volcher Coiter once went to school. In 1572 he published a remarkable book on the human body. View this story