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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). To be able to access the library, visitors need to bring their valid and activated library card (LU-Card) at all times.

Many of the Asian Library study places are available for use by Leiden University Asian Studies students only. These study places all have to be booked in advance.

Study places for Leiden University Asian Studies students

Many of the Asian Library study places are available for use by Leiden University Asian Studies students only (China Studies, Japan Studies, Korean Studies, South and Southeast Asian Studies, and the Asian Studies master programmes). These seats have to be booked in advance.

In exam weeks, almost all of the Asian Library study places will be exclusively available to Asian Studies students, and will all need advance booking

Study places for other visitors

Outside of exam weeks, Asian Library study places marked with a white or a light blue sticker can be freely used by all visitors. During exam weeks, only the places marked with a white sticker will be freely available.

Asian Library seats marked with a... Year-round During exam weeks
Dark blue sticker Leiden University Asian Studies students only; advance booking required Leiden University Asian Studies students only; advance booking required
Light blue sticker Freely available

Leiden University Asian Studies students only; advance booking required

White sticker Freely available Freely available (some library access restrictions apply)

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

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.

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.

Please note that during exam periods, some library access restrictions apply.

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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