Universiteit Leiden

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Services for visitors

The Leiden University Libraries welcome scholars and other visitors looking to use the library's unique research collections.

To be able to use library facilities, and to access the University Library and the Law Library, visitors need a valid library account and a LU-Card. The library account can be made on the spot, at any of the library locations except for the Law Library.

Borrowing and consultation

An annual fee card or a free library card allows you to borrow materials from the various UBL library locations.

In general, early printed works, maps, atlases, manuscripts and other rare and valuable items as well as reading room collections are non-circulating. Reading room items may be consulted on the spot, all other non-circulating items can be requested using the catalogue; they will be made available for consultation at the Reading Room Special Collections.

Access to digital resources

Upon registering for library membership, you will be issued with personal logon data for Leiden University’s wireless network. We recommend bringing your own device.

Subscription-based article databases and electronic journals may be accessed using the catalogue. Please note that, due to licensing restrictions, visitors may access these resources from within the university network only.

Freely available UBL digital resources, requiring no library membership, include Leiden Repository and Leiden University Libraries Digital Collections.

Annual fee card

An annual fee card for visitors costs €30. Please note that some access restrictions apply at both the University Library on Witte Singel and the Law Library.

Day pass

Visitors wishing to use the library collections for one day only may purchase a day pass for €10. On the day of  purchase, the card allows you to access the libraries and use reading room materials. Materials may be requested from the University Library’s stacks, for library use during service hours of the Reading Room Special Collections.

To use materials the same day, requests should be placed before 15h30, from Monday to Friday. A day pass can not be used to request materials shelved at a library location outside of the University Library.

A library card free of charge

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
  • 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 (no access to the Law Library; access to the UB outside of exam periods only)
  • Students enrolled at Dutch universities of applied sciences affiliated with the Vereniging Hogescholen (no access to the Law Library; access to the UB outside of exam periods only)

Documents to bring

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 bring proof of eligibility.

Printing and photocopying

 For printing and photocopying, the LU-Card is used. 

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