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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
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden

Tel: +31 71-5272814 (General)
Tel: +31 71-5272800 (Reception desk)

Postal address
P.O.Box 9501
2300 RA Leiden

Information for visitors

The Asian Library is located on the 2nd floor of the University Library (UB). Use of the Asian Library is limited to students and researchers using the Asian collections of Leiden University Libraries.

In order to allow reading room use as intended, access is regulated by means of a personal LU-Card access key. Please have this key activated at the UB reception desk, before your first visit to the Asian Library.

If you do not have access rights yet but would like to use the Asian Library collections and facilities, please turn to the information desk on the ground floor. Library staff is entitled to ask you to document your intended use of the Asian Library.

Study area and computer workstations

  • 128 workplaces without PC
  • 20 computer workstations
  • copy machine

Group rooms

The following rooms can be found in the Asian Library, and can be reserved by Leiden University students, teachers and visiting scholars:

Group study room Kern

Kern may be booked by groups of 3-6 Leiden University students relying on the libraries' Asian collections. Bookings are made at the reception desk

Seminar room Rouffaer

Rouffaer can seat groups of 7-10 teachers and researchers, for educational purposes or meetings. . Bookings are made at the secretariat.

Cinema room Vos

The cinema room Vos is a 15-seat theater room, equipped with an 84" screen for watching Asian satellite television channels and DVDs or Blue rays. A USB port and HDMI cable is available for accompanying presentations and connecting your laptop. Bookings can be made at the reception desk

  • Please make sure to book in advance
  • The cinema room may be booked for use up to 3 hours
  • You can book several slots ahead, but no further than 6 weeks
  • At the start of the booked time frame, please pick up your proof of reservation at the reception desk
  • Please set the sign on the door to ‘occupied’ while using the cinema room
  • When you are done, open the curtains, set the sign back to ‘available’ and turn on the TV

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

Room bookings

Upon booking a room, please state:

  • which room you would like to book
  • the desired date and time
  • your name, student number, phone number
  • the number of participants

You will be notified as to the availability of the room. Upon collecting the key (if applicable) from the reception desk, the student who made the booking will be requested to leave a personal document such as an OV-chipcard or Leiden University registration card. Each participant must be present and will be asked to show their LU-Card. A booking will be cancelled in case a group is more than half an hour late.

In the group study rooms, Leiden University Libraries' house regulations apply.

Researcher room Van Gulik

For visiting researchers and Leiden University scholars of Asian studies wishing to use library materials intensively, a reservation for a workplace can be made in the Van Gulik room. Bookings are made at the secretariat.

Desk support

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.

Course reserve shelves

Course reserve shelves for Asian studies are located in the Asian Library, entrance 8, 3rd row from the entrance.  Here you can find the physical books and DVD cases reserved by teachers for their course.  If you wish to watch one of the DVD’s, please take the DVD cover downstairs to the information desk.

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
  • Closed stacks: books and journals in closed stacks may be requested using the Catalogue.

Unesco Listed Heritage

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

  • La Galigo (1908) is the world’s largest epic, written in Buginese language and script. See video
  • In the manuscript Babad Diponegoro, the Javanese Prince and national hero Diponegoro (1785-1855) recounts his war against the Dutch (1825-1830). See video
  • 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 arem always about a prince and a princess, about love and adventure. See video.

Asian Library impression

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Available computers

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