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Asian Library blog: follow the construction of the new centre of expertise on Asia

Leiden University will have a unique centre of expertise on Asia: the Asian Library. You can follow the developments relating to this centre on the Asian Library Blog.

This blog will keep you up-to-date with the progress of this “major international knowledge hub”, which will not only house 37 kilometres of books but also serve as a state-of-the-art study facility and an international meeting place. You will also learn more about the timescale, the architects of the new space, the UNESCO listed heritage, fundraising and the Asian Library's stunning collection. 

International knowledge hub

University librarian Kurt de Belder says that Leiden will have a genuine international knowledge hub on Asia: “Leiden has the world’s largest collection on Indonesia and one of the largest libraries on Asia in the Western world.” This collection was already extensive, but in 2013 and 2014 it was expanded with the magnificent collections of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). In the future, this collection will be extended even more and partly digitised.

Close collaboration

De Belder further highlights the combination of top-level research and teaching on Asia and the large Asia collections, and says that the close collaboration with cultural organisations and the international network maintained by Leiden University and the University Libraries are also extremely important. The Asian Library will be a leading international location with a vast amount of knowledge on Asia. The Asian Library will be part of the University Library.

The Asian Library

The Asian Library will be built above the University Library, around the dome. Renovation work on the Open Stacks has been ongoing since May, and from the summer a temporary book repository will be established in the Van Steenis Building. These materials will gradually be transferred to the Asian Library from early 2016, at which point the book repository will also start to become available. The opening of the entire new Asian Library is planned for early 2017.

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