Universiteit Leiden

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Library exhibitions, both online and physical, give an idea of the breadth of our collections.

Exhibition Gallery

The exhibition gallery is located in the entrance area of the library (Witte Singel 27). All exhibitions are free and open to the general public.

Collections on Tour

Manuscripts, printed books and other materials of the Special Collections are regularly lend out for display at exhibitions in museums worldwide. Through social media we will keep you posted. Follow us on twitter and facebook.


Rembrandt and Leiden University

Rembrandt van Rijn is inextricably linked to the city of Leiden: he was born and went to school there, and in Leiden he started his career as one of the greatest painters in Dutch history. There is a similar connection between Rembrandt and Leiden University. He matriculated on 20 May 1620 as a student of literature and remained so until at least 1622. Rembrandt’s matriculation is kept at Leiden University Library, along with countless other sources on his life and work, and a collection of etchings by Rembrandt and works by childhood friends and other contemporaries.

This online exhibition presents a selection from the collections of Leiden University - sources, documents, etchings and drawings by and about Rembrandt and his contemporaries. Not only to provide insight into Rembrandt's time in Leiden, from his birth in 1606 to his departure for Amsterdam in 1631, but also as access to the rich Rembrandt collection at Leiden University Library.

Explore Rembrandt and Leiden University

Portret van Hugo de Groot uit de Leidse Bijzondere Collecties.

Grotius : a Life Between Freedom and Oppression

In 2021, it is exactly 400 years since Hugo Grotius mounted his daring escape from Loevestein Castle, hidden in his book chest. Although his escape is a widely known event, especially in the Netherlands, the man behind the story and the reasons behind his imprisonment are often overlooked. In this small online exhibition, nine students from Leiden University College The Hague introduce the general public to the person Hugo Grotius through a selection of books, prints, maps and letters from the Leiden University Libraries’ (UBL) Special Collections.

Explore Grotius : a Life Between Freedom and Oppression

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