Universiteit Leiden

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Library organisation

Our mission

The core business of the UBL is providing information to staff and students of Leiden University for their educational and research tasks. Though staff and students of Leiden University are the primary focus of the services of the UBL, others can profit from these services too. The UBL facilitates the access, the evaluation, the use, the production and the availability of information. The UBL is developing effective ways of collaborating with other libraries and cultural heritage institutes on a local, national and international level.

The UBL contains the University Library, the libraries of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Law, Archeology and Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the East Asian Library and the Library Learning Centre Faculty Governance and Global Affairs. A new library location is to be realised soon for The Hague Campus. In the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) you can find the Walaeus Library for medical studies. This library has close ties with the UBL, but is not a part of the organisation. 

The UBL owns a vast collection of scientific information, both on paper and online. Furthermore, UBL provides access to special collections of international allure. Among these are medieval manuscripts, archives, old prints, maps, sketches, drawings and photographs, both from the Western world and the Middle East and Asia. 

Our objectives

  • The UBL is a knowledge node for Leiden University, where information is produced, kept, used and shared - both physically as virtually. 
  • The collections of UBL serve as a source for education and research at Leiden University. 
  • The collections and services of UBL need to be as accessible as possible to students and researchers - whichever way, wherever and whenever.
  • The UBL looks ahead to be able to prepare herself and her users today for tomorrow's developments and opportunities related to her field of business.
  • The UBL offers a sparkling and stimulating work environment in the challenging world of research information, in combination with a pleasant work atmosphere and attractive secundary conditions. 

Our history

The history of Leiden University‚Äôs libraries goes back to 1575, when Prince William of Orange donated a copy of the Polyglot Bible. Nowadays, the collections comprise millions of books, ten thousands of magazines, hundred thousands of special collections and access to even more digital materials. 

Read more about the libraries from then to today.