15 March 2019
First campaign for UM Crowd

Minervalia: 177 km and 12,500 euros away from Maastricht

A small book of great value, that is ‘Minervalia’. It is the oldest comedy book printed in Maastricht. Under the motto ‘culture from Maastricht belongs in Maastricht’, the Maastricht University Library and the Limburg University Fund/SWOL want to bring this rare publication back to its roots. That is why a special crowdfunding campaign has been started.

Crowdfunding campaign

“As curator of Maastricht University’s Special Collections, I think it would be fantastic if we succeeded in bringing ‘Minervalia’ back to Maastricht!” That is why the library, together with the Limburg University Fund, has set up a crowdfunding campaign through UM Crowd. This is Maastricht University’s new online crowdfunding platform. “With every donation, the book gets another mile closer to home”, says Essers. “Cultural heritage lovers should definitely not miss it.”

Not under lock and key

You may be wondering what will happen to ‘Minervalia’ when it is purchased. It is a rare book; will it not just disappear into a safe? Odin Essers: “We want ‘Minervalia’ to travel around and exhibit in the region. In this way, we can bring the cultural heritage to everyone—including to you. We will also use this publication for education and research at Maastricht University. In the meantime, the Maastricht University Library will be a safe home base. If ‘Minervalia’ returns, it will be the oldest piece in the library's Special Collections!”

A full agenda

Odin has one final argument to convince the public to contribute to the ‘Minervalia project’. He says: “People often return to their birthplace to retire there. Why shouldn’t that apply to this age-old book?” It is an argument that indeed makes sense—even if it is only ‘Minervalia’ that will get that place of rest when the crowdfunders manage to bring the publication back. The agenda of this special book seems to be pretty full…

The crowdfunding campaign for ‘Minervalia’ will go live on 15 March. The kick-off will take place during the Maastricht Antiquarian Book and Print Fair. In the following weeks, various promotions and messages will be in advertising throughout the city and on social media. Visit www.umcrowd.nl for more information and the latest news about ‘Minervalia’ and the campaign. People can also contribute to the project through this website.

Odin Essers, curator of Maastricht University's Special Collections

By: Milou Schreuders and Susanne Snijders (text)