In the basement of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, over 500 rare books are hidden. During the course Mining Library Treasures, nine students from several universities throughout the Netherlands have explored this special collection. It consists of book treasures from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, covering a wide range of topics, mostly related to Italy and Rome. During one week in November 2018, students from several disciplines (such as History, Art History, Book Studies and Classical Studies) had the honour to discover this collection and curate a digital exhibition. The theme of this exhibition is volumes with a folio format. This is why the physical aspect of the books has been studied in relation to their contents.
As part of the project, the group visited several libraries in Rome, such as the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Biblioteca Casanatense and the Biblioteca Angelica. During a day trip outside of Rome, they also paid a visit to the Abbey of Montecassino and the Monastery of Grottaferrata. Lastly, they had a practical workshop in making marbled paper and a book restoration presentation in the L’Istituto centrale di patologia del libro in Rome.