Universiteit Leiden

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The UBL holds unique special collections. You can utilize these collections for study, education and research.


  • Catalogue - Search the Catalogue via the tab Special Collections
  • Digital Collections - Find digitized originals and information about specific collections

When visiting the Special Collections Reading Room, you'll need a LU-card

Request and consult

The Special Collections contain mostly precious and fragile material. Therefore no material may be removed from the Reading Room. Only pencils and computers may be used for taking notes.

General guidelines:

  • Manuscripts: you can receive one or two manuscripts at the same time. Keep loose documents in their original order and handle one at a time.
  • Printed books: up to 8 items at a time. Please use the cushions and supports provided.
  • Maps can be consulted two at a time. It will take more time to fetch maps out of the stacks. You should therefore take a slight delay into account.
  • Drawings, prints and photographs: we can hand over one box at a time.

The staff at the desk in the Special Collections Reading Room will give you instructions and answer your questions.


Work places and equipment:

  • 40 work places 
  • Access wireless network
  • 2 catalogue terminals
  • 1 microfilm and fiche reader analogue
  • 2 microfilm and fiche readers digital
  • 1 scanner for digitisation printed books 1850-1950 (bring your own usb-stick)

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