Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University Libraries (UBL) owns over 5 million paper materials. Loanable items can be picked up and returned at the UBL library location of your choice.

The standard loan period for library materials is 3 weeks. The library will automatically renew your loans, in 3-week periods, provided the maximum loan period has not been reached and items have not been reserved by another user. The maximum number of materials to have checked out is 50.

To be able to borrow UBL library materials, a valid library account and LU-Card is needed.

Request, or fetch from the shelf?

A major part of the libraries' loanable collections is placed in closed stacks. To borrow these items, they need to be requested using the catalogue. Loanable items placed in open shelves can either be fetched from the shelf and borrowed at the desk, or requested, for pick-up at a later time.

By using our services, users agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the UBL circulation policy.

Delivery and pick-up

Upon requesting loanable library materials, please choose the UBL pick-up location of your choice from the drop-down menu.

Delivery times may vary, according to the selected pick-up location and the day and time of your request. The library will send an email notice as soon as an item is ready for pick-up

The status of your requests and reservations can be monitored in ‘My Requests' in the catalogue.

  • In Process - your request is being / is about to be fetched by our staff
  • Not Started. Place in queue is: [...] - a reserved item is still on loan; your request is number [...] in line
  • On Hold Shelf until [end hold date] - the item is ready for pick-up. Items 'On Hold Shelf until [...]' will be kept available for pick-up for 5 days


Books and journals published prior to 1900, reference works, manuscripts and valuable, rare, fragile or loose-leaf materials may not be borrowed. Most of these items can be requested using the catalogue, for consultation at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Items shelved in the University Library's reading room areas are all non-circulating. They can be fetched from the shelf, to be consulted within the library. In the catalogue, these items will show a 'Locate' button, indicating in which reading room they are shelved.

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