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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.

From 27 September onwards, most Leiden University corona guidelines will be lifted.

Please check our opening hours webpage for an up-to-date overview. 

Library study places can be booked by Leiden University students. All seats need to be booked in advance, online. Guests and other visitors cannot reserve or use study places.

Several library study places have been made available for use by Leiden University staff and PhD's. These seats cannot be reserved in advance.

Non-silent short use seats

Students who have a study place reservation, but would like to follow an online course or otherwise conduct an online conversation during their reserved time-slot, can use one of the dedicated seats in the University Library's north hall next to the print & copy unit.

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 at home, or have a look at our vast e-journals collection. Browse our extensive subject guides for your field of interest. Treat yourself to some film and music! Learn all about Open Access and Leiden University Scholarly Publications.

Temporary access to extra digital resources

Several database platforms now offer free access to a selection of online materials:

  • Ars Aequi – Dutch monthly law journal and online platform 'Ars Aequi' is now available for remote access through EZProxy
  • JSTOR – access to additional JSTOR collections and coronavirus and public health content until 30 June 2021
  • Ohio State University Press – free access to all monographs and the linguistic textbook 'Language Files'

Library patrons owning a valid library account and LU-Card may visit the library locations to pick up requested items and later return them.

Choose one of the pickup locations from the drop-down menu in the catalogue. Books can be picked up without making an appointment. Please await the availability email, so as to be sure the items are ready.

Current opening hours per location are listed on our opening hours page.


During opening hours, borrowed items may be returned at the UBL library location of your choice.

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

Most university libraries, and the National Library (KB), currently offer ILL services through WorldCat. Please note that, for loans as well as for article deliveries, we do depend on other libraries' current ILL options.

Please contact us in case you should have any questions.

We kindly ask teachers to use digital materials whenever possible, and limit the use of physical materials to a maximum of ten books.

Using the UB and Wijnhaven Library course reserve books

Students wishing to consult course reserve books for a short while only, can book a 'course reserve seat' for an hour. For the UB, please contact the UB reception desk at +31715272800, for Wijnhaven Library please send us an email.

For the time being, all University Library (UB) and Asian Library course shelves have been moved to the Information centre Huygens on the UB ground floor.

E-books for course shelves

Check our catalogue to find out whether the publication you are looking for is available in digital form. If not, please fill out a purchase request form, or contact your subject librarian to discuss alternative solutions.

Course shelve books loan

Please let us know if can make course reserve items available for loan, by sending an email to uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl. We recommend you only do this for small groups of students, who will often connect with each other when resources are limited, and share books. The student registered in our system as borrower will be responsible for the book loan at all times.

Scans and readers

In some cases, it is permitted to publish scans of copyrighted book chapters on BrightSpace. A number of publishers have allowed articles or book chapters to be included in printed or digital readers for educational purposes, in which case there is no need to count words or images. Please check publishers' policies using the Usage regulations licensed e-resources module.

When a publisher isn't indicated on the list, the UFB Reader Online service can scan book chapters and make them available to students. Please consider copyright regulations when using this option. Deviating from regular procedure, the library will provide the book and the UFB provides the scanning services. For more information, please contact the UFB Reader Online Services at readers@ufb.leidenuniv.nl

Students can purchase scanned items through the Reader Online webshop, in digital or printed form. Any costs due to copyright will be added to the purchase fee. Leiden University’s Central Crisis Team has decided these costs will fall on students as they did before.

More information

General information about copyright issues when teaching online can be found on our Digital Scholarship webpage.

If you should have any questions regarding course reserves, please contact us by email: uitleen@library.leidenuniv.nl.

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 the CDS via email: cds@library.leidenuniv.nl.

From 30 August onward it is no longer necessary for researchers and students wishing to consult material(s) from the Special Collections to reserve a seat in the Special Collections Reading Room

Visiting the Special Collections

We ask you to follow the indicated one-way route to the Special Collections and thoroughly wash your hands before entering the Reading Room. 

At the Reading Room, please report to the desk. Staff will show you your workplace and provide you with the requested items. After your visit, please return all documents or objects to the desk, and leave the library following the indicated route.

Courses and lectures

Leiden University teachers may request to use original items from the Special Collections relevant to their courses, in the University Library lecture rooms.

Digital Collections

Please find our rich and varied Digital Collections online.

Leiden University teachers wishing to stream audiovisual materials during online classes, can book the University Library's media room (ground floor) for this purpose.

One of the computer units in the media room has been equipped with the proper software and hardware needed to stream audiovisual materials. Teachers can book the room themselves, or have a student assistant handle the booking and streaming. This service is meant specifically to enable teachers to use dvd's from the library's collections, and is being offered to Leiden University teaching staff only.

To book, please send an email to the University Library's reception desk, stating your name, email address and phone number, and the desired date and time. More information regarding the procedure will be sent to you by email.

For any library-related queries you might have, please contact us using 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 library account password, please request a new password online.

Subject librarians and curators

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

All notices regarding loans, requests, and overdue fines from the library to Leiden University students, and to alumni graduated after August 2006, are sent to the Leiden University uMail-address.

uMailbox transfer issues

In 2020, Leiden University has transfered all uMailboxes to a new online environment. Please check the university's news item on uMail migration issues.

uMail forwarding settings

Forwarding settings created before April 2020 are no longer active. Please refer to the university's news item for more info and a manual regarding the new uMail forwarding options.

Please find information regarding services currently offered by the Walaeus Library (LUMC) on the Walaeus Library website.

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