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Library services during the coronavirus situation

Due to the coronavirus situation in The Netherlands, Leiden University Libraries has had to adjust its library services.


Several of the Leiden University Libraries locations are open to collect and return library materials only, for printing (Leiden University students only, by appointment), and to access the Reading Room Special Collections (for researchers only, by appointment). 


All public events and instruction sessions scheduled until 1 June 2020 have been cancelled.


Please note: information on services currently offered by the Walaeus Library (LUMC) can be found on their webpage.

Online library services and remote access options for Leiden University students and Leiden University and KITLV staff, are currently being offered as usual.

Read e-books from home, or have a look at our vast e-journals collection. Browse our subject guides for your field of interest and improve your academic and search skills using our online tutorials. Treat yourself to some film and music. Learn all about open access publishing on the Centre for Digital Scholarship webpage.

At several library locations, patrons may visit to pick up and return books.

Loanable materials from the UBL library locations can be requested using the Catalogue. Choose one of the currently available pick-up locations from the drop-down menu.

Please await the availability email so as to be sure the items are ready for pick-up. Books can be picked up from the book lockers.

Library location Hours to pick up and return books
University Library

Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00. Weekends: closed 

Social and Behavioural Sciences Library During opening hours of the Pieter de la Court building
Van Steenis  During opening hours of the Van Steenis building
Wijnhaven Library During opening hours of the Wijnhaven building

Due date

The due date for all UBL loans has been set to 15 June, so as to prevent fines from being issued to patrons who can not visit the library for the time being.

In few cases, the automatic renewals may not have been successful. Please contact us by replying to any overdue notices you may receive, or via Ask a librarian.

In case you have reserved any items currently on loan, please allow for some more time for the books to become available.


Borrowed books may be returned at any of the abovementioned library pick-up locations. Books may also be sent by mail, provided they are securely packaged and carry sufficient postage: 

University Library
User Services
P.O. Box 9501
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

A selection of books shelved in the University Library (UB) reading room and the Asian Library, and non-circulating items shelved at the Law, Wijnhaven and NINO libraries, can be made available and checked out to library patrons upon email request. Items will be determined suitable for loan on a case-by-case basis.

Please send an email to uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl, stating your student number or username, plus author, title, volume and call number of the item needed, or copy the permalink from the catalogue. You will be notified as to the loan options and availability of the item. UB and Law Library items may be picked up from one of the lockers in the UB, Wijnhaven materials from the lockers at Wijnhaven Library.

Please note that reading these or other books on the spot is not allowed.

Stuur een email voorzien van uw studentnummer of usernaam naar uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl. Vermeld titel, auteur, eventueel volumenummer én call number van het werk, of kopieer de permalink uit de catalogus. U ontvangt zo spoedig mogelijk bericht over of uw verzoek kan worden gehonoreerd. Boeken zullen worden klaargelegd in een locker bij de UB; materiaal van Bibliotheek Wijnhaven zal daar in een locker worden geplaatst.

Het is helaas niet mogelijk boeken ter plaatse te raadplegen.

Given the closure of many libraries world-wide, ILL book loan services have been suspended.

Article requests through WorldCat are possible, but we can not guarantee delivery. Please contact us in case you should have any questions.

Teachers that have requested course reserves at one of the Leiden University Libraries locations, can now make these materials available to students at home. 

1. Loan

Let us know if  can make books loanable again via uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl. We recommend you only do this for small groups of students. We have noticed that students will connect with each other when resources are limited, and will share books amongst one another. The student registered in our system as the original borrower will remain responsible for the book for the loan period.

2. E-books

Search our catalogue to check whether the title in question is now available as an e-book. The last few weeks our staff has checked if print titles placed on the course reserves are available through our vendors as e-book. If possible, an order for online access has been placed. The library will keep you updated about any changes to your course reserves. Yu may also contact your subject librarian in case of any questions.

We are maintaining a list of publishers that have made materials freely available for use in education.

3. Scans

In some cases it is possible to publish a scan of copyrighted books (chapters) on Blackboard or BrightSpace. A number of publishers permit articles or chapters to be included in printed or digital readers for the purposes of education. The module Usage regulations licensed e-resources indicates the publishers policy. When you use these materials, there is no need to count words or images, and articles may be reused for teaching without any problems.

When a publishers isn't indicated on the list the library, in collaboration with the UFB Readers Online Service, can make a scan of (preferably) parts of books and make them available via the Readers Online Service. You will have to take copyright in consideration when doing this.

The (amended) procedure can be found on the UFB website. Deviating from normal procedure, the UFB now provides these scanning services. UBL will deliver the book in question. Students can purchase scanned items through the Readers Online web shop in digital or printed form. Any costs due to copyright will be added to the reader’s purchase price. Leiden University’s Central Crisis team has decided these costs will fall on students as they did before.

Information about the application of copyright when teaching online can be found on our webpage.

If you have any questions about course reserves, please send an e-mail to uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl. Due to reduced staff, our capability to answer questions over the telephone is limited at the moment.

Leiden University students can print documents or transfer their P-disk files at the University Library (UB) and at the Wijnhaven Library in The Hague. For safety and hygiene reasons, we offer this service by appointment only.

Please contact the library to book a max. 20 minute time slot, during which you will have sole use of the printer and/or computer assigned to you. 


Using Webprint, you can prepare and upload your print requests before your visit to the library. If this option does not work for you, you will be assigned a library computer for the duration of your booked time frame.

P-disk files

You can send your P-disk files by email, or transfer them to Office 365. In case you choose to use Office, make sure to have access to Office services before your appointment at the library. Please find all necessary Office 365 information and manuals at Leiden University's Helpdesk Portal. Library staff can not offer assistance in this matter.

UB By phone

UB Reception desk
+31 71 5272800 (office hours)

Wijnhaven Library By email wijnhaven@library.leidenuniv.nl

The Reading Room Special Collections provides limited access to Leiden University researchers. 

A temporary procedure applies for visitors wanting to access and use the facilities at the Reading Room Special Collections. A maximum of six workspaces is available in the reading room. For use of these workspaces, visitors can choose from several different time slots. A morning session from 09:00 to 12:00, an afternoon session from 13:00 to 16:00, or a daylong session from 09:00 to 16:00.

Applying for a visit

To apply for a workspace, send an e-mail to specialcollections@library.leidenuniv.nl. Please indicate on which day and during which time slot you would like to visit the reading room, and which items you would like to view during your visit. Your request must be sent in no later than 12:00 on the workday prior to your intended visit. We will send you a message about whether a visit to the reading room is possible during your preferred timeslot. Approval of applications is handled in order of receipt.

Visiting Special Collections

When your application has been approved, you are welcome to visit the library during the timeslot allotted to you. When entering the University Library, you can use the lockers available at Café UBé. The lockers at the reading room are temporarily out of order. Then report to the reception desk near the main entrance of the UB. After checking your registration, you will be admitted to the library. We ask that you thoroughly wash your hands before entering the library. You can then follow the indicated route to the Reading Room Special Collections. 

Once in the reading room, please report to the reading room desk. Staff will point you to your workspace and will provide you with your requested items. Walking paths are indicated on the floor of the reading room so that passing one another is kept to a minimum. After your visit, you can return your documents or objects at the reading room desk and leave the reading room accompanied by a staff member via the indicated route. 

Workspaces at the Reading Room Special Collections are cleaned thoroughly between visits. Consulted items are kept in quarantine for two days after use.

Curators can be contacted by email, and of course our rich Digital Collections are available online.

All enquiries regarding library services, your library account, and questions for our information specialists, can be asked at Ask a librarian. On weekdays from 9:00-17:00 we can also be reached by whatsapp, chat, and phone.

Forgotten your password?

In case you have forgotten your password, you can request a new password online.

Subject librarians and curators

Subject librarians and curators can be reached using their regular university email address.

Centre for Digital Scholarship

Researchers can contact the Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS) for questions, advice and training regarding data management, Open Access, copyright and use of digital data. Please contact CDS via email: cds@library.leidenuniv.nl.

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