Brill 333 News and Events



Literate & Learned. Brill: 333 Years of Typography in the Service of Scholarship

Since the foundation of Brill in 1683, the company has gained a widespread reputation, not only as publishers of scientific and scholarly works, but also as specialist printers of a wide variety of complex scripts – ranging from Arabic to local languages to Aramaic, Chinese and other Asiatic languages. The exhibition Literate & Learned. Brill: 333 Years of Typography  in the Service of Scholarship celebrates these two accomplishments; bringing together the firm’s activities, both past and present. A highlight is the presentation of “The Brill”, a new typeface specially designed to overcome the typographical difficulties that have traditionally hindered the printing of exotic characters.


 “The Brill” typeface presents complete coverage of the Latin script with the full range of diacritics and linguistics (IPA) characters used to display any language from any period correctly, and Greek and Cyrillic are also covered. There are over 5,100 characters in all. “The Brill” complies with all international standards, including Unicode. John Hudson of Tiro Typeworks, well-known for his multilingual fonts, is the “The Brill’s” designer.


Learn more about the typeface with this video of the designer John Hudson’s talk during the opening symposium of the exhibition ‘Literate & Learned. Brill: 330 Years of Typography in the Service of Scholarship’celebrating Brill's 330 year anniversary. More information about the exhibition ‘Literate & Learned. Brill: 330 Years of Typography in the Service of Scholarship’, held at Museum Boerhaave in Leiden, The Netherlands, on the Museum Boerhaave website.


  400 Years Arabic in Leiden

In 1613 Leiden University established one of Europe's very first chairs of Arabic Language and Culture. Its first occupant, Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624), laid out the rationale in his inaugural lecture 'Arab culture has a world of wisdom to teach'. This has defined the guiding principles of the study of Arabic at Leiden University ever since.


To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Leiden chair of Arabic, Leiden University, Brill Publishing and Leiden museums organize a range of activities to reintroduce Arabic culture, science and language to the people working and living in Leiden and beyond. More information about this anniversary on the website of 400 years of Arabic in Leiden.


Legacy of Levinus Warner

The legacy of Levinus Warner is explained in detail in the exhibition “Turcksche boucken. De oosterse verzameling van Levinus Warner, diplomaat in zeventiende-eeuws Istanbul” at the Meermanno Museum in The Hague, The Netherlands. This great scholar collected many valuable Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, and Persian manuscripts during his stay in Istanbul from 1644 until his death in 1665. After his death, these manuscripts were left to the Leiden University Libraries; of which 140 volumes, (totaling 45,809 pages), were digitized by Brill in 2012. The collection also includes several of Warner's diaries with research notes in various languages. 

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the website of the Meermanno Museum (site Dutch language only).  Full information about the digitalized collection can be found here, on Brill's website.