‘IK LEEF HARD EN DUBBEL’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 4, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



In this article I analyse the diary of the historian Paul Fredericq following the concept of ‘academic life’, a term coined by Johan Huizinga and further explored by Klaas van Berkel. It calls for the study of the university that goes beyond the institutional, perceiving the university as a living community with multiple interactions with society. Personal documents such as the diary of Fredericq prove to be excellent sources to this informal, anthropological view on the university. The diary reveals how the ‘personal’ life and the ‘university’ life of Fredericq intertwined and how his research and teaching was mixed up with engagements in the Flemish Movement, liberal politics and cultural world. In his diary he spoke about a double life, namely this combination of being a scientist and being a public figure. To conclude, this article discusses Fredericq as a case of the responses and concerns of universities around 1900 to the growing extra-curricular activities of the academic community.


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