Universiteit Leiden

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Library card

A personal, activated library card (LU-Card) is required to enter the libraries and to use on-site library facilities.

Leiden University students, staff and alumni

Leiden University students are automatically registered for library membership. Your LU-Card doubles as library (entrance) card, right after it has been activated.

Please apply for a LU-Card online and have it activated after receiving it. Your LU-Card, just like your ULCN account, is strictly personal.

Leiden University staff, (dual) PhDs and KITLV staff members and research fellows are automatically registered for library membership. Your LU-Card doubles as library (entrance) card.

Please apply for a LU-Card online and have it activated after receiving it. 

LUMC and GGZ Rivierduinen staff can only apply for a library card at the Walaeus Library.

Leiden University alumni are automatically registered for library membership. Your student's LU-Card will still be used as library card.

Alumni graduated before september 2006 can have a free library card made at the University Library desk. In addition to a valid means of ID we ask you to provide evidence of your graduation.

PhD graduates who do not have an alumni account may apply for a library guest account; please find more information on the Leiden University alumni page.

Library card options for visitors and guests


An annual fee card or a free library card allows you to borrow materials from the various UBL library locations. Your card comes with a username and password for the catalogue.

Using Special Collections materials

Please find more information on using rare and old materials at the Special Collections webpages

Access to digital resources

Due to publishers' licensing restrictions, visitors may access digital resources from within the university network only. Leiden University alumni have remote access to several of the databases offered by the library, using their ULCN-account, at Leiden Alumni Databases.

Freely available digital resources, requiring no library membership, include the Leiden University Scholarly Publications and Leiden University Libraries Digital Collections.

Study places

Until 27 September 2021, due to coronavirus regulations, study places are not available for use by visitors.

Starting 27 September, most study places can be used freely by all library account and LU-Card holders, outside of exam periods. At several locations, some access restrictions apply.

A library account and LU-Card for visitors can be made in person only, at one of our library desks with the exception of the Law Library. Please check our staffed desk hours.

Upon registering or renewing your library card, please bring personal identification: passport, ID-card or Dutch driver’s licence, and proof of your current residential address.

Should you (still) qualify for free membership, please show proof of eligibility.

An annual fee card costs €30. The fee for a week pass (see below) is €10.

No library card fee will be charged to:

  • Leiden University external PhD candidates
  • Leiden University Professors Emeriti
  • Staff at Leiden museums, the National Library of the Netherlands (KB), and KNAW and NWO research institutes
  • Members of the 'Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde' (MNL), the KITLV Learned Society, the 'Vereniging Vrienden van het Instituut Kern' (VVIK), and the Società Dante Alighieri Leiden/Den Haag
  • Members of Friends of Leiden University Libraries who pay a yearly contribution of €95 or more
  • Individuals enrolled in a language course at the Leiden University Academic Language Centre
  • Staff at Dutch universities affiliated with VSNU
  • Students enrolled at Dutch universities affiliated with VSNU
  • Students enrolled at Dutch universities of applied sciences affiliated with the Vereniging Hogescholen

To visit the libraries and use the library collections in-house for up to one week, visitors not eligible for a free library card can purchase a day/week pass for €10. You will be issued with a library card and logon data for our wifi and catalogue.

Items can be requested from the University Library’s stacks and from several other UBL locations. Materials will be made available for library use only, at the Reading Room Special Collections.

To be able to use materials the same day, please request them before 15:30, from Monday to Friday. Materials requested from other locations than the UB will need an extra day or more to be delivered.

Please note that day/week passes will not be issued to visitors seeking a study place in the Law Library, or during exam periods.

You will be notified by email when your library card is about to expire. In most cases we can renew your account without you having to visit the library in person. Please reply to the notification, or contact us using Ask a librarian.

Your library card comes with logon data for the catalogue and wifi use.

In case you do not remember your library username and/or password, please apply for a new password online.

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