Erik Kwakkel


Research Classification

Audiovisual, Visual, Audio and Written Communications
Communication Contexts
Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.)

Research Interests

History of the Book
Medieval Manuscripts
Digital Humanities
Cultural Heritage
History of Libraries

Relevant Degree Programs


Research Methodology

Quantitative paleography
Materiality of Information
Material Culture
Digital Humanities
Handwriting technologies


Doctoral students
Any time / year round

Manuscript studies; History of the Book; History of Reading; History of Libraries; Materiality of Information (Book Design); Cultural Heritage; Digitization; Digital Humanities.

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

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  • Hidden Library: Visualizing Fragments of Medieval Manuscripts in Early-Modern Bookbindings with mobile Macro-XRF Scanner (2017)
    Heritage Science, 5
  • Bookmarks: The Hidden Library (2016)
  • Costume Catalogue from 16th-century France (2016)
  • Dirty Old Books (2016)
  • Kleutertekeningen gevonden in middeleeuws manuscript (2016)
    De Standaard,
  • Middeleeuws handschrift: letters verraden datum (2016)
  • Niet lezen maar kijken! (2016)
  • Ten-minute item on script and scribe of Hebban olla vogala (2016)
  • The Secret Libraries of History (2016)
  • X-Rays Reveal ‘Hidden Library’ on the Spines of Early Books (2016)
  • X-rays reveal 1,300-year-old writings inside later bookbindings (2016)
    The Guardian,
  • "Books on a Stick" (2015)
  • "Box It, Bag It, Wrap It: Medieval Books on the Go" (2015)
  • "Chain, Chest, Curse: Combating Book Theft in Medieval Times" (2015)
  • "Cracking Codes in Medieval Times" (2015)
  • "Dirty Medieval Books" (2015)
  • "Half Full, Half Empty: The Peculiar Medieval Page" (2015)
  • "Helping Hands on the Medieval Page" (2015)
  • "Judging a Book by its Covers" (2015)
  • "Medieval Bargain Books" (2015)
  • "Medieval Posters" (2015)
  • "Rare Medieval Book Tags" (2015)
  • "Texting in Medieval Times" (2015)
  • "The Incredible Expandable Book" (2015)
  • "X-Rays Expose a Hidden Medieval Library" (2015)
  • “Geheim van de boekband” (2015)
  • “Radio Papier”, consulting for and participation in an item of 20 minutes about the waning of paper (2015)
  • “Scanner onthult verborgen bibliotheek” (2015)
    Nederlands Dagblad,
  • 20-minute long interview about my research project on twelfth-century manuscripts (2015)
  • Interview about scanning bookbindings (2015)
  • Kennis van Nu TV: short item on scanning bookbindings (2015)
  • News article devoted to find of new Pamplona Bible  fragment (2015)
    Times Colonist,
  • News article devoted to my outreach activities and an increased online presence of scholars (2015)
    Leidsch Dagblad,
  • News article devoted to research funding in the Netherlands, interview with color photograph (2015)
    NRC Handelsblad,
  • Research to reveal medieval book fragments inside bindings with the help of the MA-XRF x-ray technique (2015)
    De Volkskrant,
  • Verborgen middeleeuwse bibliotheek (2015)
    Leidsch Dagblad,
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Continental Scribes in Rochester Cathedral Priory, 1075-1150 (2013)
    , 231-261

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