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Asian Library

The Asian Library holds the largest collection on Indonesia worldwide, and some of the foremost collections on South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea.

Visiting address Postal address

Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden
+31 71 527 2814

P.O.Box 9501
2300 RA Leiden

The Asian Library is located on the 2nd floor of the University Library (UB).

Asian Library access

To be able to access the University Library, visitors need to bring their valid and activated LU-Card at all times. During exam periods, some access restrictions apply.

Access to the Asian Library is limited to students and scholars depending on the Asian collections of Leiden University Libraries for their study or research.

Library access during coronavirus measures

Due to limited seating capacity per room, all study places need to be booked in advance; this includes the study places marked with a light blue sticker. Only Leiden University students can reserve study places.

For the time being, several visitor groups do not have access to the libraries. 

Computer workplaces are available for use by Leiden University students only, and need to be booked in advance. Several computers - marked with a white sticker - will be available for use by other visitors.

During exam periods, some access restrictions apply.

In exam periods, study places will be available to Leiden University students only, and will all need to be booked in advance. Some study places - marked with a white sticker - will be available for other visitors.

Group study rooms are available for booking by Leiden University students only. To reserve group study room 'Kern', one of the students in the group reserves the room in advance. The minimum group size for using the group room is 3.

Please note that during exam periods, study places in group rooms are considered individual use study places and can only be booked and used as such.

Cinema room 'Vos' is a 15-seat theater room, equipped with an 84" screen for watching Asian satellite television and DVD or Blu-ray, and for presentations using USB or your own device.

The cinema room can be booked by Leiden University students and researchers wishing to consult audiovisual material from, or about, Asia. The room can be booked for up to 3 hours.

Terms and conditions for cinema room bookings:

  • Please send an e-mail to the UB reception desk, cc the subject librarian in your field, including:
    • First name, surname, email address and phone number of the responsible applicant
    • The preferred date and time
    • Whether you will be using dvd/film material from the collections or the TV
  • Applicants wishing to use materials from the UBL collections have priority over other users
  • The cinema room may not be reserved and/or used as a regular study place
  • The main applicant is responsible for proper use of the cinema room
  • After placing your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email providing you with further information and rules of conduct

For instructions on how to use the cinema room equipment, please contact Digital Services.

The course reserve shelves for Asian studies have been temporarily moved to the Information Centre Huygens on the UB ground floor.

Course reserves are books and dvd's set aside by teachers for their course. If you wish to watch one of the dvd's, please take the dvd cover to the information desk on the ground floor, where the discs are kept.

The Asian Library does not have its own information desk. For general questions about using the catalogue, locating a book in the reading room, and computer issues, please refer to the main information desk on the ground floor.

Where to find the Asian collections

The Asian Library spans several Asia collections, shelved on different locations in the University Library:

  • Asian Library, 2nd floor: reference collections
  • Reading Room Special Collections: Asian Special Collections. Items can be requested using the catalogue
  • S-UB: Asian collections in open stacks. Items can be fetched from the shelf or requested using the catalogue
  • Closed stacks. Items can be requested using the catalogue

Unesco Listed Heritage

No less than three items from Leiden University’s Asian heritage collections are included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

La Galigo
La Galigo (1908) is the world’s largest epic, written in Buginese language and script. See video.

Babad Diponegoro
In the manuscript Babad Diponegoro, the Javanese Prince and national hero Diponegoro (1785-1855) recounts his war against the Dutch (1825-1830). See video.

Panji Tales Manuscripts
The unique collection of more than 250 ancient tales revolving around the mythical Javanese Prince Panji, has been acknowledged in 2017 as world heritage by UNESCO. Prince Panji is the title character in the popular Panji tales from Java. These stories always revolve about a prince and a princess, about love and adventure. See video.

Inside the Asian Library

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